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Rev Hist Pharm (Paris). 2015 Sep;63(387):417-23.

[The Arabic influence in the "Colóquios dos simples e drogas da India" of Garcia da Orta].

[Article in French]


The "Colóquios dos simples e drogas he cousas medicinais de Índia" (Conversations on the simples, drugs and medicinal substances of India) (1563) of Garcia da Orta is a botanical and pharmacognosy book. The author is a Portuguese physician who studied in the Spanish universities and practiced medicine mainly in India. He studies in short chapters presented in the form of dialogues about sixty simples. Sources to which he refers are indicative of a "classical" training, but also the mark of a curious and open mind to different cultures. The Arabic sources are numerous and mainly concern the identification of substances by abundant synonyms of their names in foreign languages and different medicinal uses that may have been done by the ancient physicians. However, Da Orta is critical with respect to these sources, seeking contradictions and differences of opinion among authors. He confronts them with the oral information collected thanks to a wide network of contacts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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