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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Review Article

Colchicum Genus in the Writings of Ancient Greek and Byzantine Physicians

Author(s): Gregory Tsoucalas*, Theodoros Papaioannou, George Panayiotakopoulos, Zenia Saridaki, Dimitrios A. Vrachatis and Marianna Karamanou

Volume 24 , Issue 6 , 2018

Page: [648 - 653] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1381612824666180115111546

Price: $65


The plants of the Colchicum family were known during the archaic period in Greece for their deleterious properties. Later on, they were used for the treatment of podagra. The treatment was introduced by the ancient Greek physicians and passed on to the Byzantine and Arabian physicians to endure until nowadays. The first plant was most probably named "Medea" from the notorious Colchican witch. As the most common member of the family blossoms in autumn, the plant was named Colchicum autumnale. Various nominations were also used, such as Ephemeron, Hermodactyl, Anima articulorum and Surugen. Our article discusses them, while at the same time presents the most notable authorities who have used Colchicum plants in herbal medicine and toxicology.

Keywords: Colchicum, ephemeron, hermodactyl, ancient Greek medicine, toxicology, herbal medicine.

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