Skip to main content

09.11.2018 | Orthopaedic Heritage

Pharmacies for pain and trauma in ancient Greece

International Orthopaedics
Andreas F. Mavrogenis, Theodosis Saranteas, Konstantinos Markatos, Antonia Kotsiou, Christina Tesseromatis



To summarize pharmacies for pain and trauma in ancient Greece, to present several pharmaceutical/therapeutical methods reported in myths and ancient texts, and to theorize on the medical explanation upon which these pharmacies were used.


A thorough literature search was undertaken in PubMed and Google Scholar as well as in physical books in libraries to summarize the pharmacies and pain practices used for trauma in ancient Greece.


Archeological findings and historical texts have revealed that humans have always suffered from diseases and trauma that were initially managed and healed by priests and magicians. In early Greek antiquity, the term pharmacy was related to herbal inquiries, with the occupants called charmers and pharmacists. Additionally, apart from therapeutic methods, ancient Greeks acknowledged the importance of pain therapy and had invented certain remedies for both acute and chronic pain management. With observations and obtaining experience, they used plants, herbs, metals and soil as a therapeutic method, regardless of the cultural level of the population. They achieved sedation and central and peripheral analgesia with opium and cold, as well as relaxation of smooth muscle fibers and limiting secretions with atropina.


History showed a lot of experience obtained from empirical testing of pain treatment in ancient people. Experience and reasoning constructed an explanatory account of diseases, therapies and health and have provided for the epistemology of medicine.

Bitte loggen Sie sich ein, um Zugang zu diesem Inhalt zu erhalten

e.Med Interdisziplinär

Mit e.Med Interdisziplinär erhalten Sie Zugang zu allen CME-Fortbildungen und Fachzeitschriften auf Zusätzlich können Sie eine Zeitschrift Ihrer Wahl in gedruckter Form beziehen – ohne Aufpreis.

Weitere Produktempfehlungen anzeigen
Über diesen Artikel
  1. Das kostenlose Testabonnement läuft nach 14 Tagen automatisch und formlos aus. Dieses Abonnement kann nur einmal getestet werden.

Neu im Fachgebiet Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.