Sep 20, 2007

Pharmacology, as many other branches of sciences, is considered by Europeans to be an entirely new scientific field. In this respect, they feel, like ancient tribes, that the world is limited to the horizons of their territory. One must realize that this knowledge has mainly originated from the Middle East as well as from China.


[In Europe, until recently,] there was a surprising reluctance to apply anything resembling scientific principles to therapeutics. Even Robert Boyle, who laid the scientific foundations of chemistry in the middle of the seventeenth century, was content, when dealing with therapeutics (A Collection of Choice Remedies, 1692), to describe and recommend a hotch-potch of messes consisting of worms, dung, urine and the moss from a dead man's skull.


Gustave le Bon writes: "Besides the use of cold water to treat typhoid cases – a treatment later abandoned, though Europe is taking this Muslim invention up again in modern times after a lapse of centuries – Muslims invented the art of mixing chemical medicaments in pills and solutions, many of which are in use to this day, though some of them are claimed as wholly new inventions of our present century by chemists unaware of their distinguished history. Islam had dispensaries which filled prescriptions for patients gratis, and in part of countries where no hospitals were reachable, physicians paid regular visits with all the tools of their trade to look after public health."


Georgi Zeidan writes: "Modern European pharmacologists who have studied the history of their profession find that Muslim doctors launched many of the modern beneficial specifics centuries ago, made a science of pharmacology and compound cures, and set up the first pharmacies on the modern model. So that Baghdad alone had 60 chemists shops dispensing prescriptions regularly at the charges of Caliph. Evidence of these facts can be seen in the names given in Europe to quite a number of medicines and herbs which betray their Arabic, Indian or Persian origin." Such are 'alcohol', 'alkaner', 'apricot', 'arsenic', to quote some 'a's alone.


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