Materia Medica

As human groups become complex societies, they seek to perpetuate the knowledge gained from one generation to another. As they generate medical knowledge and written systems, they have codified their medical knowledge in records known as pharmacopoeia. A materia medica is a pharmacopoeia that stores knowledge gained in order to ameliorate illnesses and preserve health. A fully developed materia medica is a catalog or encyclopedia of medical products and practices available in a region. Materia medica expand as new knowledge gained from trade, exploration, and cultural interaction is added. International drug trades have existed since ancient times, and were common from Egypt and Phoenicia to East Asia and the Greco-Roman Empire. Western materia medica documents have been discovered from as early as the 4th century ...

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