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History of Medicine – History of Medication

How Medication come

History of Medicine – History of Medication:

History of Medicine – History of Medication – Medication is any substance used for medical treatment, especially a medicine or drug. These medicines is used to relieve, stop, or to prevent disease and help in the diagnosis of disease. So, Medicines have different origins; plants extract, mixing of different chemicals, a byproduct of organisms and even inserting genes into microorganisms to produce useful substances. So, These medicines are available in different forms including liquids, drops, cream, ointment, gels, inhalers, patches, tablets, pills, and injection. in this blog, we are going to discuss History of Medication, How Medication comes.

But who make these medicines that are available in different forms and used for different purposes (diseases). Is it involve one person or group of people in the development of medicines. How many times it takes to come in our hand for easy use, is it take one year or a thousand years for development. So, In the past, how people cure different diseases at that time and how medication comes. So, These are all questions that come in the mind of every person when they use medicine or look patient having a worse condition of the disease. Here we try to answer all these questions by discussing the history of medication.

Here we discuss different time periods in which scientists work on the development of medication and how the treatment of different diseases comes.

Ancient Times (4000-3000 BC) – History of Medicine:

Herbs and Plants is the source in olden days. They use these plants as natural protection against predators and natural hazards.

Egyptians (3000-2000 BC) – History of Medicine:

Egyptians started classifying disease and keeping medical records. They used strong antiseptics to prevent decay (embalming).

Ancient Chines (2000 BC-1000 BC) – History of Medicine:

Chines used massaging and cupping to “relieve” almost all ailments. Acupuncture is in use to relieve pain.

History of medicine
Medication in ancient chines time

Greek /Romans (1000 BC- 400 AD) – History of medicine:

In 20 BC, the Romans recognized the importance of public health, developed sanitation systems, and were first to organize medical care.

Hippocrates (the Father of medicine) the first person we need to know. He was a doctor in 400 BC in ancient Greece. Hippocrates started to dissect the body, study the cause of disease, and realize the importance of sanitation. So, He also comes up with the idea of the four touches of humor. So, The four senses of humor were: Blood, Phlegm, Yellow Bile, and black bile. As per him, if there is an imbalance in any of the four senses, person will feel sick and ill.

History of medicine
Father of medicine

Galen was a gladiator surgeon in ancient Rome in 120 AD. He dissects animals to discover what the anatomy (bones and stuff) looked like. He realized that the inside of an animal is the same as the inside of a human.

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The Dark Ages And Middle Ages (400-1400 AD) – History of medicine:

In this era superstition crept back into practices. Quarantine laws in place to stop the spread of infection. Multiple epidemics and plagues killed countless people. So, Sanitary officers first came to maintain strict orders on the cleanliness of society.

Golden Period Of The Arab Science (8th-13th Century) – History of medicine:

Arabs have a great contribution to medication come today. As The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) wrote Tibb-e-nabvi, this innovation related to the message of the Quran.

In this era Muslims used cannabis and opium for anesthetic purposes. In the 8th century advanced hospital was built in Baghdad and Cairo, its target is to treat patient, not based on providing only care for them.

There are two stages between the 8th and 13th centuries, the first stage was the compilation and translation of the work of the Greek, Syriac, and Persian. The second stage was a period of excellence and at this stage the world witnessed the original contribution of the great names of medicines. Al-Razi, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sina, and Ibn Maimon were some of the great names of the medicine.

Ibn Sina wrote an enormous medical book “Canon of Medicine” having the knowledge of ancient Greek and the Islamic world. It was a standard medical book for European doctors until the 17th century.

Al Razi differentiates small pox and measles to easily diagnose the disease. He was the first author to write a book on children’s disease.

Al-Zaharwi wrote the first medical book “al-Tasirif” having pictures of surgical tools with their uses. This book provides practical guidance and was translated widely. This book used across Europe until modern times.

In the 13th century, Ibn Nafis wrote on the blood circulation of the human body.

Renaissance (1400 -1500 AD):

You still have a question that how medication comes, in the renaissance period there is a great contribution to the development of medication. So, Dissection of the human body allowed for more knowledge of anatomy along with research from medical schools. So, Researchers like Leonardo de Vinci drew accurate human body diagrams.
Vesalius was also an anatomist, he worked in the Renaissance era (the 1500s). He took bodies from the cemeteries and dissected them (took them apart to see inside).

History of medicine
History of medication

16th Century (1500 -1599 AD):

In 1543, Vesalius published a book called ‘the fabric of the human body’. This book contained a detailed picture of the anatomy of the human body. So, His book allowed everyone to understand what it looks like inside our bodies. He also corrects over 200 of Galen’s mistakes.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope and enabled the world to see microorganisms. On the same note, Robert Hooke discovered the cell along with other microbiological significances.

Pare was a war surgeon in the Renaissance period. When the soldiers were wounded, they were bleeding a lot, so instead of cauterizing the wounds (which was pressing a boiling hot metal iron on the wound). He used an ointment of egg yolk, oil of roses, and other herbs instead of boiling hot oil too. So, used ligatures made from silk threads to tie up the arteries and veins to stop bleeding. He also published a book called “ works on surgery” in 1543.

17th Century (1600-1699):

History of Medicine – William Harvey worked in the Renaissance period. He discovered that the heart pumped blood around the body and that blood circulated in one direction. He pushed thin metal rods into veins to prove that the blood went one way. So, in 1628, he published a book called ‘ an aromatic account of the motion of the heart and blood in animals’. Gabriele Fallopius discovered the fallopian tubes.

18th Century (1700-1799):

History of Medicine – Edward Jenner worked in the 18th century. He injected cowpox into a little boy to make him immune (safe from) smallpox. He made vaccination because it was the biggest killer in the 18th century (killed 15% of people). So, Jenner’s vaccination was made in 1798 and people were forced to have one in 1852. Joseph Priestly discovers oxygen in this era.

History of medicine
Medication in18th century

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19th Century (1800-1899):

History of Medicine – Louis Pasteur discovered that microorganisms cause disease. He made his ’Germ theory of disease’ in 1861. Koch developed Pasteur’s Germ theory of disease. He discovered bacteria caused different diseases. He identified the bacteria that caused anthrax, TB, and cholera in the 1880s.

Before Simpson, patients and casualties would have operations with so much pain. So, Simpson worked in the 19th century, he discovered the first anesthetic called chloroform. In 1847, Queen Victoria first used Chloroform during pregnancy. After the queen used it, all women began to use it too.

Lister also worked in the 19th century. He made the first antiseptic before antiseptic many people would die from the infection. Lister used carbolic acid to kill germs and stop infections. The discovery of germs led to aseptic surgery (germ-free surgery). So, When the surgeons sterilized (killed the germs) their equipment the number of people dying from infection fell from 45% to 15%.

Rontgen discovered X-RAY in 1895 by mistake. During the first world war (1914-1918) the surgeons used these X-rays to find bullets in the soldiers’ bodies instead of having to cut them then open.

The first human blood transfusion was also performed in the 19th century.

medication in 19th century

20th century (1900-1999):

History of Medicine – Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered penicillin in 1928. He went on holiday, came back, and realized a moldy fungus blew from the window and into his petri dish. So, He noticed that the edges of the bacteria were killed, he discovered penicillin.

Florey and Chain developed the Penicillin drug in the 1930s and 1940s. The American government invested $80 million into the penicillin drug to be used for the soldiers in world war 2. So, Penicillin save over 200 million peoples, lives in the 1900s and 15% more soldiers would have died in world war 2 without penicillin.

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Jonas Salk discovered immunization against killed viruses (vaccination).

Crick and Watson discovered DNA in 1953. They discovered that genes determine hair and eye color. This led to gene therapy and stem cell research.

Barnard made the first successful heart transplant in 1967. But the patient died 18 days later of pneumonia. So, However, in 1974 a new drug called cyclosporine discovered. This made the body accept the transplant and not reject it (which would cause the patient to die). So, This led to a successful lung, hand, and face transplant in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

21st Century (2000-Present):

History of Medicine – 2000-scientist completed the first draft sequencing of the human genome. The Human Genome Project (HGP) was to determine the structure of DNA and identify the genes of the human genome. So, The basic aim of this project was to developed medications and treatment of genetically-oriented disease.

2001: Artificial liver transplantation is done to activate a damaged liver to grow itself.

2005: Face transplantation of a woman is done by a French transplant specialist Jean-Michel Dubernard.

2007-scientist use human skin cells to create embryonic stem cells. This technique helps in developing of the whole organ from stem cells. So, This technique not only used for prosthetic wound healing but also will do successful liver transplantation.

Development of medication

Research is a process of moving medical science to a successful conclusion. A scientist is working on some of the areas that include:

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Cancer Therapy:

Chemotherapy is used for cancer treatment that also damages fast-growing healthy cells. But now biologics are used that destroy specific proteins of cancer cells and cause less effect on healthy cells.

Gene Therapy:

CRISPR gene editing is used to help in preventing inherited and genetic diseases including hemophilia, leukemia, heart disease, and cystic fibrosis.

Remote- Controlled Tools:

Remote-controlled machines are in place to reduce minor human errors in surgery. So, In future surgeons use to monitor and control robots while doing specific procedures.

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Medicine today is not come as it is. It is a progress from earlier findings. In every era medication improves step by step. Medicine is getting progress with contribution from many.Most talented heroes of their time are involved. Some medicines come by chance and some require high knowledge to challenge the condition of that time. So definitely you get answers to your questions that how a medication comes. In all these periods different techniques were used along with medicine to cure disease. So, Due to the achievement of all these scientists, today it is very easy to cure minor to moderate illness.


Author: Saba Gull,

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