Investigating the books of material medicas from Al-Hashaish (3 AH) to the Mohit Azam (13 AH) relying on index books in the areas ruled by Islam

Background and Purpose:

Materia medicas are herbal, animal or mineral substances that are used individually for treatment of disease as well as applying as components of compound drugs.
One of the first manuscripts in Islamic lands which has devoted to the subject of Materia medica is the book “Materia medica” written by Dioscorides in 1 AD. It was translated into Arabic in the 3’rd century and most recently was written as the Mohit Azam by Hakim Azam Khan in the 13th century.
Due to the importance of the subject of Materia medicas, studies have been carried out so far, but no one has introduced a plurality of material medicas during the 3’rd to 13’th centuries in the realm of Islamic lands. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to collect bibliographic and content information on works of abstraction from 3’rd to 13’th century.
Methods and Materials:

The present descriptive-analytical research was conducted through a quantitative research method and by searching the catalogs and electronic sources to find out the authored works in the mentioned period. Then the prominent and distinguished works were studied according to specific criteria, selected individually and substantially.


During these 10 centuries, 192 manuscripts have been written in the field of Materia medica. Among them and based on specified aspects, 31 manuscripts were identified as prominent ones, 21 of which were Materia medicas; 6 in Materia medica and Qarabadin together, and 4 in the medical Encyclopedias that have been devoted to Materia medica besides other medical subjects.


Evaluation of these manuscripts demonstrates that political, social, and cultural changes in the realm of Islamic lands have not stopped the process of authorship of Materia medicas books. Although with varying quantities, this process has continued for the past 10 centuries.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of Islamic and Iranian Traditional Medicine, Volume:10 Issue: 3, 2020
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