ISSN: 2149-2247 | E-ISSN: 2149-2549
Erciyes Medical Journal Theriac in the Persian Traditional Medicine [Erciyes Med J]
Erciyes Med J. 2020; 42(2): 235-238 | DOI: 10.14744/etd.2020.30049

Theriac in the Persian Traditional Medicine

Ali Taghizadieh1, Reza Mohammadinasab2, Javad Ghazi Sharbaf3, Spyros N. Michaleas4, Dimitrios Vrachatis5, Marianna Karamanou4
1Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
2Department of History of Medicine, Medical Philosophy and History Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Traditional Medicine, Tabriz, Iran
3Department of Islamic History and Civilization, Faculty of Theology, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran
4Department of History of Medicine and Medical Deontology, Medical School, University of Crete, Crete, Greece
5Department of Cardiology, General Hospital of Athens “G. Gennimatas”, Athens, Greece

Theriac is a term referring to medical compounds that were originally used by the Greeks from the first century A.D. to the nineteenth century. The term derived from ancient Greek thēr (θήρ), “wild animal”. Nicander of Colophon (2nd century BC) was the earliest known mention of Theriac in his work Alexipharmaka (Αλεξιφάρμακα), “drugs for protection”. During the era of King Mithridates VI of Pontus (132-63 BC), the universal antidote was known as mithridatium (μιθριδάτιο or mithridatum or mithridaticum) in acknowledgment of the compound’s supposed inventor or at least best-known beneficiary. It contained around forty ingredients, such as opium, saffron, castor, myrrh, cinnamon and ginger. Theriac was not only used as an antidote from poisoning but also for various diseases, such as chronic cough, stomachache, asthma, chest pain, fever, colic, seizures, diarrhea, and retention of urine. The present study aims to collect and discuss the mentions of theriac in Persian medical texts.

Keywords: History, traditional medicine, pharmacy, toxicology

Ali Taghizadieh, Reza Mohammadinasab, Javad Ghazi Sharbaf, Spyros N. Michaleas, Dimitrios Vrachatis, Marianna Karamanou. Theriac in the Persian Traditional Medicine. Erciyes Med J. 2020; 42(2): 235-238

Corresponding Author: Marianna Karamanou, Greece
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