If the entire materia medica at our disposal were limited to the choice and use of only one drug, I am sure that a great many, if not the majority, of us would choose opium; and I am convinced that if we were to select, say half a dozen of the most important drugs in the Pharmacopeia, we should all place opium in the first rank. If we were to inquire, however, into how much the great majority of the medical men know about the history of this wonderful product of plant life, which, when judiciously employed, has proved such a boon to suffering humanity, if we were to ask about the origin of some of our most familiar remedies—laudanum or paregoric, for instance—I fear the information gleaned would be meager. It is doubtful whether it is even generally known that opium, so widely used in China, is not indigenous
MACHT DI. THE HISTORY OF OPIUM AND SOME OF ITS PREPARATIONS AND ALKALOIDS. JAMA. 1915;LXIV(6):477–481. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570320001001
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