theriac


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Related to theriac: Theriaca andromachi

theriac

Medical history
(1) A combination of herbs given by Roman physicians, which contained opiates and antispasmodics, administered as cure-alls.
(2) A mixture of substances with alleged therapeutic value, used in the Middle Ages as cure-all or an antidote to various poisons.
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In a substantially revised version of his 2011 PhD dissertation at Exeter University, Leigh presents a new edition with commentary of a second-century Greek treatise concerned with the history, manufacture, and properties of the complex drug theriac or Galene, invented (according to the treatise) by Andromachus, personal physician to Nero, who took a recipe derived from Mithridates VI of Pontus and added the flesh of vipers to it.
But evidence is that Galen's contact with Marcus Aurelius, during the last ten years of his life, was tenuous--and calculations based on Galen's recorded recipes show that his theriac contained insufficient opium to cause addiction.
Galen, for instance, treated the melancholic emperor Marcus Aurelius with theriac, a concoction of sixty-odd ingredients, chief among them the pulverized flesh of a viper--that is to say, snake oil.
This hasn't been an especially hard sell, which is a little curious when you consider that SSRIs, like their progenitors, seem upon analysis to be much more like Galen's theriac than their makers would like to admit: a 2002 article in Prevention & Treatment found that of the forty-seven trials submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for the six most widely prescribed antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Serzone, and Celexa), only twenty trials showed any significant advantage of the drugs over the placebos.
Theriac contained a great and varying number of ingredients, the principal one being viper's flesh.
104) For a description of the theriac, see Charles Joseph Singer and Edgar Ashworth Underwood, A Short History of Medicine (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962), pp.
He also addresses Marcus Aurelius' use of an opium-containing theriac and tonic, mediated through his physician, Galen.
One cure-all, Theriac, originated in medieval times and contained well over 100 ingredients by the year 1800.