WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINES IN CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY AS DEFINED BY THE HIPPOCRATIC CORPUS AND RELATED DOCUMENTS
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Women in classical antiquity employed a number of reproductive medicines, particularly for antifertility purposes. Ancient use of medicines helps to inform contemporary practice and provides a source of information for potential drug development. Details regarding use of women's medicines in antiquity can be derived from texts of the classical era, including the Hippocratic Corpus, Soranus' Gynecology, the Galenic Corpus and Dioscorides' De Materia Medica. These texts were examined to clarify the reproductive medicines employed by women in Ancient Greece and to compare formulations utilised by ancient versus modern people. The four documents were compiled by eminent Greek physicians of antiquity and the work of these prominent scholars progressed to influence health practice in other ancient societies, including Rome and Arabia. The documentation supports the existence and use of ancient pharmaceuticals to manage reproductive health in women, with a number of agents having demonstrated efficacy as contraceptives or abortifacients. The public accessibility of such texts generates a need for determining the safety and efficacy of such ancient medicines.
40th International Congress for the History of Pharmacy
Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice