Hamdard Pharmacopoeia of Eastern Medicine

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Item Code: IHL223
Author: Hakim Mohammed Said
Publisher: Sri Satguru Publications
Edition: 1997
ISBN: 8170305209
Pages: 588 (Illustrated Throughout In B/W)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 11.5 Inch X 8.5 Inch
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Book Description
From the Jacket

The present volume Hamdard Pharmacopoeia of Eastern Medicine includes a preface. Survey of Drugs (List of Medicinal Plants Used in Eastern Medicine), Pharmacopoeia as standardized by Hamdard, Pharmaccutical Codex of Eastern Medicine. The volume is profusely illustrated.


To rescue man from the clutches of disease is a duty, sacred and obligatory, from time immemorial.

To achieve this there are several systems of medicine practised in the world, every system with its own basis, philosophy and therapeutics, but with one common object – alleviation of disease. These systems, basically differing from each other, cannot be discounted as obsolete. They are as scientific as modern medicine it one to find out and work on them without prejudice.

The Eastern system of medicine practised in Pakistan comprises of three systems – Chinese, Ayurvedic and Greco – Arabic, having its roots in drugs of vegetable, animal and mineral origin. Public interest for some special reasons is at present focused on indigenous herbs and their research. Men of science and medicine are investigating the natural kingdoms for cures of diseases, and we are encouraged to believe from the results obtained so far, that they will be successful.

It was this revival of interest in natural cures that encouraged us to conduct a survey to examine their therapeutic uses and describe the nature of research carried out in this sub-continent for the information of those engaged in research and particularly for those who wish to make this system of medicine the subject of their research activity. The book is divided into four parts, the first comprising a survey of drugs and list of medicinal plants used in Eastern medicine, the second being a pharmacopoeia as standardized by Hamdard, the third being a pharmaceutical code of Eastern medicine and the fourth, selected papers indicating the extent nad scope of drug research.

The knowledge of drugs goes back to prehistoric times. Man as savage must have known by experience how to relieve his sufferings by the use of herbs growing about him. Records of ancient civilizations show that a considerable number of drugs used by modern medicine were already in use in ancient times. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and people of the sub – continent of India and Pakistan, all developed their respective characteristic material medica. Modern medicine traces its origin to the its enrichment with Chinese and Indian medicine, it was taken over by modern Europe. The Muslim rulers introduced it into India and incorporated with it the native Ayurvedic medicine; this mixture is now known as Unani medicine or broadly speaking Eastern medicine. A brief account of the progress in the knowledge of drags is given here.

Egyptian Materia Medica

The famous Ebers Papyrus believed to be written about 1,500 B.C. contains a collection of prescriptions and formulae covering a wide range of uses. The following drugs mentioned in it have been identified:
Oil, wine, beer, yeast, vinegar, turpentine, figs, castor oil, myrrh, mastic, frnakinscense, wormwood, aloes, opium, cumin, peppermint, anise, fennel, saffron, lotus flowers, linseed, juniper berries, henbane, mandragora, poppy, gentian, colchicum, squill, cedar, elder berries, honey, grapes, onion, garlic, acacia and date blossoms.
Among the mineral and metallic substances used by the Egyptians were: iron, lead, bitumen, manganese, nitre, vermillion, copper sulphate, while lead, crude sodium carbonate, and salt. Precious stones were employed in a finely divided condition.

Assyrian and Babylonian Pharmacy

In the library of Sardana-palus or Ashurbanipal which dates from 650 B.C. have been found clay tablets belonging to Assyrians and Babylonians, relating to medical and pharmaceutical subjects. Their list of drugs resembles the lists of the Egyptians. Two hundred and fifty herbs and 120 stones or minerals among which are cassia, cinnamon, costus, orris root, anise, jasmine, oleander, allamander, cathartica, mint, hendane, liquorice, alcohol, fats, oils, wax, turpentine, bitumen, alum, beer, are mentioned.

Chinese Medicine

There is a pharmacopoeia – like compilation in Chinese called Pen Tsao or the Great Herbal consisting of 40 volumes containing several thousand prescriptions. The origin is attributed to the mythical god of medicine believed to have flourished about 2735 B.C. The Chinese were the earliest to employ goose greases, the adeps anserinus of later pharmacopoeiae, as a preferable fat for inunction. Modern scientific research applied to various fats is determine their penetrating powers, place goose grease at the top of the list. The Chinese employed as medicine iodine as seaweed, rhubarb, aconites, cannabis, iron, sulfur, mercury, alum, musk, camphor, ephedrine – containing substances, toad’s eyelids, earthworms, etc. In the Herbal, 265 drugs are mentioned, of which 240 are vegetable substances.

Indian Medicine

The sources of Indian medicine are derived from Rig – Veda believed to have been compiled between 4500-1600 B.C. and Ayurveda 2500-600 B.C. Charaka and Subshruta are considered highest authorities. Charaka gives fifty (50) groups of herbs each, which he thinks are enough for the purpose of an ordinary physician, and Sushruta has arranged 760 herbs in 37 sets.

Greek Medicine

The origin of Greek, medicine is traced to Aesculapius who was probably a historical personage subsequently deified following the example of Egyptians and other ancient people. The history of medicine and pharmacy begins from Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, born on the island of Cos, 460 B.C. and said to be a descendant of Aesculapius. In his writings nearly 400 simples are named as medicinal substances. Theophrastus (370-287 B.C.) who received as a legacy the herb garden of Aristotle, wrote “On the History of Plants” in which he mentions 500 drugs, and another book “On the Classes of Plants”. The most significant pharmacologic treatise of the Greeks was, however, the authoritative text of Dioscorides who flourished about 60 A.D. He is said to have become a surgeon in Nero’s army so that he would be able to study the flora and fauna of different countries. In the course of his army career, he traveled in Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, Spain and France, and collected a vast number of botanical, mineralogical, and biological specimens. Whenever circumstances permitted, Dioscorides questioned the natives concerning the medicinal virtues and used of the specimens he had gathered, His famous treatise on material medica was first published in Greek at Venice in 1499 and was the pharmacologic vade mecum for approximately 1,600 years. It was arranged upon an alphabetic basis. Among drugs mentioned by him are: acacia, aconite, brine, aloes, ammoniacal substances, old boiled oil, starch, dill, anise, bitter almond, urine, juniper, rose –oil, arsenic, soot, licorice, wine, bitumen, balsam, wormwood, lichens, gentian, pennyroyal, elaterium, hemlock, mint, vinegar, fish glue, bitumen, balsam, wormwood, lichens, gentian, pennyroyal, elaterium, hemlock, mint, vinegar, fish glue, cardamom, cumin, buckthorn, an alcoholic extract of root of mandrake as a soporific in surgery, also poppy as a soporific, lead, calamine, and a number of metallic oxides, sulphates and sulphides. This book was translated into Arabic and some European languages and is often quoted in the works of Arab authors.

Pliny the elder (c.A.D. 23-79) wrote his “Natural History” in 37 books, of which books 20-27 treat of medical botany or the medicines derived from plants, and books 28-32 deal with material medica other than botanica, i.e. medicines derived from the bodies of man and other land animals. He was contemporaneous with Dioscorides.

Galan was born at Pergamum in A.D. 130 and is supposed to have died in Sicily. He is said to have kept a pharmacy for time in Rome and he originated so many preparations of vegetable drugs that such preparations are called “galenicals”. He said to have maintained: “It is the business of pharmacology to combine drugs in such a manner – according to their elementary qualities of heat, cold, moisture, and dryness – as shall render them effective in combating or overcoming the conditions which exist in different diseases” – (A. Buck, “Growth of Medicine” New Haven, Yale University Press 1917, p. 317.)

Galen is credited with same 30 books on pharmacology. One of these, in which the items were discussed in alphabetical order, enjoyed great popularity in Latin translation under the title “De simplicibus”. His works were translated into Arabic. He became physician to Commodus. When he traveled he devoted a great deal of his time to the collection drugs so that he would be sure to have the choicest types at his disposal. In the written as well as spoken word he always stressed the importance of pure drugs and the careful handing of them. He advised his readers: “In order to know drugs, inspect them not once or twice but frequently, for though twins look alike to strangers, they are easily distinguished by friends”.

Arab Medicine

After the time of Galen, medicine declined in Rome, the texts of the earlier Greek physicians were forsaken, and the works of Galen gradually assumed the position of greatest authority in medicine. Greek medicine found its votaries among Arabs who caused as much literature as could be found to be translated into Arabic. Among the famous names are those of:

Rhazes (Abu Bakr Mohammad bin Zakaria Razi), died 932 A.D., credited with having written nearly 250 works some of which were upon pharmaceutical subjects. Garrison, in his History of Medicine, classes Rhazes with Hippocrates in his influence upon medicine. Among his contemporaries he was known as Galen of his time. His most famous work is “Alhavi Kabeer” or Continens of Rhazes.

Avicenna (Sheikh Bu Ali Sina) known among Unani physicians simply as “Sheikh” (980-1037 A.D.) was the world renowned author of the “Canon of Avicenna was by far the most popular textbook in medicine in Europe, and it was most frequently quoted by later writers. Indeed, Avicenna’s works were considered authoritative and used by the Universities of Europe till as late as 1650. It is his likeness that adorns the diploma of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. He is the first authority to describe one of the parasitic infestations of the body (the guinea worm), and also the first to note the sweet taste of he urine of parasitic infestations of the body (the guinea worm), and also the first to note the sweet taste of the urine of diabetics. He introduced the gilding and silvering of pills. The second volume of Canon describes 719 drugs.

Al- Idrisi known as “Sharif” (1100-1166) was born in Sevta and educated in Spain. He was one of the persons renowned for the collection of herbs. Along with him was associated the name of Rashiduddin Suri who toured the hills and forests of his country, Syria, in search of medicinal plants. The reference to his work is found in the famous book “Al-Aqaqir” in which the author (Ibn al-Baitar) has described 1,400 drugs and has given the references of more than 150 Arab and Syrian physicians which had been concerned with the collection of the information about these drugs. Out of these 150 physicians, the name of Al – Idrish has been referred to as “Sharif” more than 200 times according to which he was an authority on the drugs of animal and plant origin of North Africa. Previously the exact period in which he wrote the Materia Medica was not known. It is only recently that Professor Helmut Ritter (while searching the manuscript on this topic in mosques and libraries of Constantinople) has announced the presence of the book “Al-Aqaqir”. Which is like the lost book of Al-Idrisi. Further Dr. Max Meyerhof has published his paper where he has confirmed that this book is the same book by Al-Idrisi which was previously deemed lost. The manuscript of “Al-Aqaqir” is kept in the library of History of Medicine, Istambul, on which no date is written.

Great contributions have been made by the Arab physicians on the medicinal properties of plants. Though their publications are based on the Materia Medica of Dioscorides and Galen, their “Qarabadins”, have added a lot of new materials. For example, there is abundance of references of the book like “Almalikki” of Ali Ibn Abbas. Few years back Peter Paul Sbath, a Syrian priest and Arabic scholar has published an article in Arabic on “Qarabodin”, the book written by Al-Dasturul Bimarastani, a popular physician who was practicing medicine in A.D. 1161-1240 at Cairo.

Ibn al-Baitar (Ziauddeen Abu Mohammed Abdullah ibn-i-Ahmad-al-Maliki, 1197-1241 A.D.) was chief botanist in the court of Egypt. He traveled through North Africa, Spain Greece and Italy, Syria and Asia Minor, visited the botanists of every country and the herbs in their native growth and investigated their properties experimentally. He wrote a monumental work, “Jame-ul-Mufradat”, in which he collected the remarks of Dioscorides, Galen, Rhazes, Avicenna and others on drugs. It deals with 2000 drugs of which 1,700 are herbs. An Egyptian edition of the book is available. Parts of the work were printed at various times in Latin under the name of “Simplica”. A French translation by Leclerc is also available as “Notices et extraits des manuscript de la Bibiliotheque Nationale” Vol: 23, P. 1, vol, 25, pt, 1. Paris, 1817, 1822 Another book written by him on material medica is known as Kitabul Mughni fi-al-Adwiya-al-Mufarrada.


Preface vii
Survey of Drugs – List of Medicinal Plants Used in Eastern Medicines 1
Pharmacopoeia – (As Standardised by Hamdard) 61
Pictures of Plant Drugs Used in Eastern Medicine 319
Pharmaceutical Codex – (Of Eastern Medicine) 351
Drug Research – Need for Research in Plant Drugs (By Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui) 419
Cardio – Vascular Pharmotherapeutics of Six Medicinal Plants Indigenous to Pakistan and India 421
I. New Vistas in Search for Antihypertensive Agents 422
II. Developments of Drugs for the Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure and Cardiac Oedema435
Development of Newer Compounds from Indigenous Sources for the Therapy of Cardiac Arrhythmias 439
Development of New Complex Coumarins for Coronary Thrombosis, Related Thromboembolic Episodes and Spasmodic Conditions of Blood Vessels 444
Pharmacological Studies on Emblica Officinalis Gaertn. 451
Khamira Abresham Hakim Arshadwala:
I. Its Pharmacological Studies 455
II. Its Effect on Serum Cholesterol Levels in Rabbits459
Studies in Alkaloids of Rauwolfia Serpentina (Benth) and the Mode of their Occurrence (By Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui) 461
A Contribution to the Anatomy of Tinospora Cordifolia (Willd) Miers (By Dost Mohammad Khan, Bashir Hussain and N.A. Malik) 464
Studies of Abroma Augusta (Linn.) – (By Sadiq Ali, Ahmad Mubashar Ahsan and George Hahn) 469
Studies on Nepeta Ruderalis Hamilt. Examination of the Petroleum Ether Extractive of the Flowers and Stems (By Usman Ahmad Siddiqui and A.M. Ahsan). 473
A Pharmacognostic Study of Withania Radix (By Naseer Ahmad Malik) 477
Isolation of a New Compound from Lavandula Stoechas (Linn.) (By Manzoor-i-Khuda and Moqaddas Ali Khan) 480
Studies on Rhazya Stricta (Dcne) (By Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, Yusuf Ahmad and M. Ibrahim Beg) 483
Chemical Investigation of Commiphora Mukul (Engl)- (By Amjad Ali and (Mrs.) Mashooda Hasan) 489
Anatomical Studies of Commiphora Mukul (Engl) and the Localization of Gums, Resins and Tannins (By S.I. Ahmed, Fatima Asad and S. Shahid Husain) 492
A Reinvestigation of the Alkaloidal Constituents of Peganum Harmala (By Dr. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui) 496
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