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ERIC Number: ED138390
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Feb-24
Reference Count: 0
American Indian Influence on the American Pharmacopeia.
Vogel, Virgil J.
The first U.S. Pharmacopeia, issued in 1820, listed 296 substances of animal, mineral, or vegetable origin in its primary and secondary lists. Of these 130, nearly all of vegetable origin, represented drugs used by American Indians. The number grew at each decennial revision during the 19th century, though some drugs were listed only for a decade. About 220 drugs of Native American use were listed altogether in the U.S. Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary (which began in 1888) up to the present time. Although the number of such listings has declined since the advent of synthetic drugs about 1890, it is significant that 41 new substances of American Indian usage have become official since 1890. However, only 30 substances of Amerindian origin survived in the 17th revision of the U.S. Pharmacopeia in 1965. These drugs were not always used in the same form by Indians and whites. In the preparation of drugs, whites have used processes, i.e., distillation, which were not known to the Indians. Moreover, Indian usage of remedies has not always corresponded with white usage. This paper presents a brief overview of some of the drugs borrowed by white medicine from the American Indians. These drugs have been grouped into: anesthetics, narcotics, and stimulant drugs; astringents; cathartics; childbirth medicines; febrifuges; vermifuges; emetics; poisons; antibiotics; diabetes remedy; and contraceptives. (Author/NQ)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Boston, Massachusetts, February 24, 1976)