What is an Apothecary?

Apothecary as a profession could date back to 2600 BCE to ancient Babylon.

The Papyrus Ebers from Ancient Egypt, written around 1500 BCE, contain a collection of more than 800 prescriptions, or ancient recipes for the apothecaries of that time and mentions over 700. In its investigation of herbal and chemical ingredients, the work of an apothecary may be regarded as a precursor of the modern sciences of chemistry and pharmacology, prior to the formulation of the scientific method. In additon to pharmaceutical responsibilites, the apothecary offered general medical advice and a range of services.

From the 15th century to the 16th century, the apothecary gained the status of a skilled practitioner, but by the end of the 19th century, the medical professions had taken on their current institutional form, with defined roles for physicians and surgeons, and the role of the apothecary was more narrowly conceived as that of pharmacist in most of the world or dispensing chemist as known in Great Britain.

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