Apothecary: An Ancient Path Rediscovered
An in depth look into holistic medicines quickly makes clear that all surgeons, pharmacies, medical practitioners and all other forms of such practices, are indebted to the ancient apothecaries, which were the forefathers of the current and modern medical practitioners.
In fact, the very foundations of medical science, of medication itself and the treatment of illnesses is based upon the original works of these explorers of science.
Some of the oldest mentions of apothecary treatment were found in the ancient Babylonian culture dating about 2600 BC. And the first surviving written records of ancient apothecary medicinal mixes and uses are from Ancient Egypt dated around 1500 BC. These text contained more than 800 treatments, preparations, uses, and recipes. Most of that knowledge has been lost to time
The word ‘Apothecary’ is ancient Greek and refers to an individual or place that provides medical materials, treatments and medicines. Apothecaries were experts of many fields, including herbal sciences, botany, organic chemistry and chemistry. Most skilled apothecaries were trained from a very young age and devoted their entire lives to their profession.
A skilled apothecary (apothecist sounds better but I’m told that Apothecist isn’t a word) encompasses the skills and knowledge of a physician, a botanist, an herbalist, an organic chemist and a pharmacist, not to mention the determination of a relentless hiker and forager so that they can harvest the plants, herbs, mushrooms and other materials needed. The finest apothecaries harvest the material and perform all the processing needed themselves to ensure the highest quality of ingredients and precision of preparation from start to finish.
The preparations needed for some herbs and fungi can be quite varied, including dehydration, grinding, alcohol and water extractions, concentration, distillation, blending and final distillation of medications, including bottling, proscribing and distribution to patients.
As the modern use and proscription of addictive drugs is becoming more and more understood to be the failure that it is and always has been, people are rediscovering the miracles of natural pharmacy and meeting and exceeding their health goals with the help of their Apothecary.