History of Pharmacology: U.S., Colonial Period to 1865

Pharmacology is a fairly young science, to a certain extent. Most scholars agree that the study and practice of pharmacology, as it is recognized currently, originated in the 18th century. However, its roots reach back much farther than this.

Essentially, pharmacology is the study of drugs. It is only in pharmacology’s most current iteration that the meaning has narrowed to focus on the action of drugs. However, the history of pharmaceuticals is almost as long as the history of humanity itself. Given that pharmacology is a branch of the biological sciences, this long history is not surprising.

When European colonists and settlers arrived on the shores of the North American continent in the beginning of the 1500s, they brought with them the cumulative knowledge of pharmacology, which ...

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