AO 5:03, May/Jun 2002
Origins: On the Pill
Even Williams Pink Pills for Pale People and Bayer Aspirin have ancestors in the ancient world
As soon as man began to write, it seems, he was giving medical advice. Prescriptions and formulas are plentiful in the literature of ancient Mesopotamia. One cuneiform tablet suggests the following for an undisclosed ailment: Pulverize the seed of the carpenter plant, the gum resin of the markasi plant, and thyme; dissolve in beer; let the man drink.
Mesopotamian medicaments, however effective, are all liquid preparations. The Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians apparently knew nothing of what is for us the most common kind of dosage: the pill.