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History of Pharmacy as a Profession: Africa

In Africa, the ancient Egyptians had specific preparers of medicine, known as pastophors. Pharmacy was viewed as a high-status branch of medicine, and like the Sumerians, these pharmacists were also priests who worked and practiced in the temples. From surviving papyrus scrolls, notably the Ebers Papyrus, which dates from 1500 b.c.e., we know that the Egyptians made and used infusions, ointments, lozenges, suppositories, lotions, enemas, and pills. The Ebers Papyrus includes 875 prescriptions and 700 drugs.

Traditional African healing is a holistic approach to medicine based on the premise of interconnectedness. Disease was understood to be a misalignment or spiritual/social disorder either internal or external. It was believed that all people are made up of many levels of being—moral, social, physical, and spiritual—that function together as ...

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