Presentation by Dagmar Wujastyk: Potent panaceas: Tracing the development from plant‐based medicine to iatrochemistry in Ayurveda

10.08.2017

Presentation by Dagmar Wujastyk: Potent panaceas: Tracing the development from plant‐based medicine to iatrochemistry in Ayurveda

Heating a strip of iron at a rasaśāstra workshop with Andrew Mason (neterapublishing.com)

In around the ninth century CE, the Sanskrit medical texts began to record profound changes in the methods used for drug manufacture. New substances, such as heavy metals and mineral poisons, were added to the ayurvedic pharmacopoeia or were given new prominence. More significantly, however, new ways of processing raw materials were introduced that were thought to make them both fit for medical use and at the same time heighten the substances’ potency. Most of the new, but also many of the traditional substances were now put through a series of complicated, multi‐stage processes before they were used as components of compound medicines. The new formulations were considered both particularly strong and widely applicable: powerful panaceas.

In my presentation I will trace the evolution of these changes and the concomitant developments in the understanding of the characteristics of drug materials and I will discuss what this shift in pharmaceutical operations may have meant for the practice of medicine.

 

Thursday, August 10, 8:30, Lecture Hall H

Panel: P11b Potency across Asia

ICTAM IX 2017

https://www.ictam2017.uni-kiel.de/en

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