Army surgeons carry firearms

Poisons pp 1-46 | Cite as


There are only a few records from antiquity relating to the toxicity of intoxicating and numbing plants. The pursuit of the uncertain beginnings of evidence of toxic side effects seems to get lost in the limits of historical time. Very isolated traces are wrapped in the cloak of myth. Narcotics for pain relief and for creating artificial sleep have been known to the ancient civilized peoples since the earliest times: The first historically attested attempts go back to the 3rd millennium BC (a Babylonian clay disc mentions henbane seeds against toothache). The term narcotic is of Greek origin: υαρxη once meant paralysis, paralysis; on the other hand, he referred to the convulsive or electric ray. “Nàrkosis”, the numbness, is undoubtedly directly related to the live electric ray recommended in antiquity by Scribonius Largus, Galen, Dioscurides and Paulus von Aegina for migraine attacks, the “Narke thalassia”. The blow delivered by this fish should claim “narcosis” or “torpor”, paralysis or paralysis, as an effective therapeutic agent.

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