Evolution of drug: a historical perspective

Bull Indian Inst Hist Med Hyderabad. 2007 Jan-Jun;37(1):69-80.


To trace out the first person who discovered the first medicine is extremely difficult. Perhaps the origin of medicine and drug and its early history has been lost in myths. The use of medicinal plants dates back not only to human civilization but to ancient people also. Plants have been crucial in sustaining human health and well being of mankind. The word Drug, taken from French word Drogue which means Dry Herb, strongly suggests that earliest drugs were taken out from plant sources. Earliest people used to treat diseases by some unconventional methods, using plants, animal products and minerals, of them plants were given priority. World's ancient systems of medicine e.g. Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Greek Medicine, despite, having wider differences in their principles of treatment agree upon the point, that disease is due to imbalance within the constituents of the body and that the aim of treatment is to restore the balance with the help of herbs. So, herbs played vital role in the development of Pharmacology and Pharmacy. The splendid architect of today's advanced Pharmacology was not built in a day, but its foundation stone has been laid on old base. Pharmacology from its very beginning to the age of Chemotherapy and on words, has traversed long voyage. In this article travelogue of the Pharmacology has been discussed briefly.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Herbal Medicine / history*
  • History, 15th Century
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional / history*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / history*
  • Pharmacology / history*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations