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n Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie - Geneesmiddels en die gebruik daarvan in die Grieks- Romeinse era : research and review article

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0254-3486
  • E-ISSN: 2222-4173

Abstract

Van die drie genesingsmodaliteite wat minstens sedert die 6de eeu v.C. in die Grieks-Romeinse era gebruik is, naamlik dieet en gesonde leefwyse (regimen), chirurgie, en behandeling met medikamente, is laasgenoemde die oudste. Alhoewel die Corpus Hippocraticum (5de eeu v.C.) nie 'n geneesmiddelhandboek bevat het nie, en Hippokrates oënskynlik regimen bo medikamente verkies het, was hierdie dokumente met geringe Egiptiese beïnvloeding die basis van empiriese geneesmiddelterapie (sonder magiese beïnvloeding) vir bykans 'n millennium. Die eerste waardige Griekse geneesmiddelhandboek is in die 4de eeu v.C. deur Diokles opgestel, en Teofrastos het as botaniese navorser 'n baanbrekerswerk oor plantaardige medikamente die lig laat sien. Die Aleksandrynse mediese skool het die kennis van farmakoterapie 'n stewige hupstoot gegee, en Herophilus het kombinasiepreparate uitgebou. Die Hippokratiese konsep dat die doel van terapie was om die liggaam gesond te hou deur sy humore en primêre kragte in balans te hou, is deur die meeste geneeshere aanvaar, alhoewel afwykende stemme ook gehoor is. Min oorspronklike werk van Hellenistiese geneeshere het egter behoue gebly, en ons kennis daarvan spruit oorwegend uit die kommentaar van persone soos Celsus en Galenus uit die Romeinse era. Dioskorides se Materia Medica (1ste eeu n.C.) was 'n gesaghebbende teks. Die ontstaansgeskiedenis van die komplekse teengifmiddel, teriaka, word geskets. Die dominerende stellings van Galenus (2de eeu), steeds oorwegend op Hippokrates gebou, het tot in die Middeleeue (selfs vir die jong Christenkerk) as dogma gedien. Mettertyd het bygeloof en magiese faktore weer toegang tot terapie gekry, en dit word uitgewys dat geneesmiddels van die Grieks-Romeinse era (met uitsondering van 'n paar analgetika en dwelms soos opium) oorwegend as plasebo's of gifstowwe ingewerk het, sonder werklik genesende aksies.


Die gebruik van medikamente (veral van plantaardige aard) om siekte te hanteer, dateer sekerlik terug na heel vroeë menslike ontwikkeling. In die Grieks-Romeinse era het geneesmiddels, dieet en gesonde leefwyse (regimen), en chirurgie, die drie basiese komponente van geneeskundeterapie uitgemaak.1 In hierdie artikel word die rol van geneesmiddels in dié tyd, ondersoek.


As from the 6th century BC Graeco-Roman medical therapy comprised three components, viz. diet and healthy lifestyle (regimen), surgery and medicaments (pharmacotherapy), of which the latter was the oldest. Although the Corpus Hippocraticum (5th century BC), with minor Egyptian influence, contained no text of medicines as such, and seemed to prefer regimen to medicaments, it nevertheless laid the foundation for the empirical use of pharmacotherapy (free of superstition and magic) for the next millennium. The first Greek herbal was produced by Diocles in the 4th century BC, when the botanist Theophrastus also wrote his classic works on plants which contained a significant contribution on herbal medicines. The Alexandrian Medical School systematized and expanded Hippocratic medicine, and Herophilus introduced compound preparations. The concept that medicaments cure illness by restoring the bodily balance of humours and primary properties was largely perpetuated, but new views on physiology were gradually emerging. Unfortunately the bulk of original contributions from Hellenistic doctors are lost to posterity and only known to us through the writings of for example Celsus and Galen in Roman times. The interesting history of theriac, the so-called universal antidote, is reviewed. In the 1st century Dioscorides produced his Materia Medica which remained an authoritative pharmacopoeia up to modern times. Galen's empiric views on pharmacotherapy (2nd century), still largely based on Hippocrates, became dogma in Medieval times, but mysticism and superstition gradually swept back into medicine. Retrospectively it is clear that with the exception of certain analgesics and narcotics like opium, Graeco-Roman medicaments were pharmacologically inert (even toxic) and obtained positive results largely through a placebo effect.

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/content/aknat/26/1/EJC20403
2007-03-01
2019-10-15

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