The contributions of Dioscorides in the field of materia medica and pharmacology are unparalleled in the history of medicine. This great botanist of the 1st century A.D. made personal observations of the specific properties of drugs and presented them through illustrations for the first time. Almost all the physician authors of Unani system of medicine from Galen to Azam Khan have quoted Dioscorides. Kitabul-Hashaish was rendered into English and arabic and published repeatedly in the West. The book has great value and is quoted widely due to its authenticity. This unique work needs to be edited critically and afterwards translated into Urdu and other languages for the benefit of the present day students and scholars.
Pedanius Dioscórides fue médico cirujano en el ejército romano en el siglo I d.C. Su gran obra llamada De Materia Medica es conocida como la principal fuente de farmacopea de la antigüedad. Dioscórides fue el inventor de la materia medica, y aprovechó sus extensos viajes para dedicarse al estudio de las plantas. Dioscórides fue considerado una eminencia en el tema de las drogas de origen natural a lo largo de dieciséis siglos. De Materia Medica sirvió como piedra angular para los textos farmacéuticos y herbarios tanto en occidente como en oriente y fue traducida al siríaco, árabe y persa, además de al latín. La particular característica de la terapia médica en la época medieval fue el uso extensivo de todo tipo de drogas. Por esta razón, además de estudiarse minuciosamente, De Materia Medica de Dioscórides se convirtió también en un libro de texto al que frecuentemente hacían referencia los científicos turco-islámicos en sus escrituras.
De Materia Medica of Dioscorides is one of the earliest pharmaceutical works dealing with medicinal plants, animal parts and products, and minerals, and was accepted as an almost infallible source as late as the Renaissance period. The work of Dioscorides served as the corner stone for both western and eastern pharmaceutical and herbal writing for a period spanning 1,500 years. This monumental work was translated into Syriac, Arabic, and Persian as well as Latin, exerting a profound influence on the development of medicine in the Near East as well as in Europe. After the book of Theophrastus, De Materia Medica is the most comprehensive and systematic work on simple drugs. It was through the pioneering efforts of Arabs that The Greek Herbal of Pedanius Dioscorides was transmitted to mediaeval Europe. The special characteristics of Arabist therapy was the widespread employment of drugs of all kinds which is why De Materia Medica of Dioscorides was studied so closely. It was used extensively by many doctors and medical writers of the Eastern and the Western cultures. The fact that De Materia Medica of Dioscorides was a great source of information for other historic pharmaceutical works in the writings of Ibn Sina, al-Razi, Ibn Djuldjul, Ali bin Ridvan, al-Ghafiqi, Abdullatif al-Baghdadi, Ibn Baitar, al-Biruni and Davud al-Antaki who all used De Materia Medica of Dioscorides as a pharmaceutical source, and referred to Dioscorides in their books. Some of those writers wrote a treatise to explain the drug names cited in De Materia Medica. De Materia Medica also led to the constitution of a detailed Arabic botanical nomenclature. De Materia Medica was of considerable importance for Turk-Islamic medicine because Turk-Islamic physicians used this monumental book effectively and frequently.
One of the earliest references to chocolate was a poem on an allegoric arch erected in Guatemala in 1579 that stated chocolate was cacao flavored with achiote. As more and more people on both sides of the Atlantic consumed chocolate, exactly what chocolate was became a shifting target across space and over time. Indigenous American recipes in materia medica, cookbooks, and treatises had common ingredients of chile, vanilla, and achiote. Frequent European flavors were cinnamon, almonds, anise, ambergris, and musk. How then, to compare what literally are apples and oranges? 2b1af7f3a8