Book Review: Zohar Amar and Efraim Lev. Arabian Drugs in Early Medieval Mediterranean Medicine. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018.
Armando Rodriguez Jr.
Journal Title:NETSOL: New Trends in Social and Liberal Sciences
Zohar Amar and Efraim Levy cover a rarely-touched topic on early medieval Arabic medicine. Although the title Arabian Drugs in Early Medieval Mediterranean Medicine suggests that the book primarily focuses on Arab medicine, by seeking the roots of Arab medicine the authors delve into the medical history of Arab neighbors from Greeks and Persians to Indians. By carefully examining the usage of various plants, herbs, and other remedies that originated from the Greek, Indian, and Persian societies, the authors seek to find how these societies contributed to the development of early medieval Arabic medicine. The book further traces the origins of pharmacology prior to the development of Arab medicine. Relying on an ancient Greek source, materia medica, a book of collected pharmacological knowledge, the authors find heavy Greek influence on the development of Arab medicine. Materia medica guided physicians to help their patients from the first century AD to the twentieth century and has been expanded over the centuries.