Medindia

X

Wrecked Ancient Ship Holds World's Oldest Pills Used To Treat Sore Eyes

by Rukmani Krishna on  January 11, 2013 at 11:53 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Researchers say, physicians treated sore eyes with the same active ingredients as today in ancient Rome.

The researchers found this by analysing pills found on the Relitto del Pozzino, a cargo ship wrecked off the Italian coast in around 140 BC.
 Wrecked Ancient Ship Holds World's Oldest Pills Used To Treat Sore Eyes
Wrecked Ancient Ship Holds World's Oldest Pills Used To Treat Sore Eyes
Advertisement

Erika Ribechini from the University of Pisa in Italy said that these are the oldest medical tablets ever analysed to their knowledge, New Scientist reported.

Advertisement
According to her, the disc-shaped tablets, 4 centimetres across and a centimetre thick, were likely dipped in water and dabbed directly on the eyes.

The tablets were mainly made of the zinc carbonates hydrozincite and smithsonite, echoing the widespread use of zinc-based minerals in today's eye and skin medications.

Ribechini said that there is evidence that Pliny the Elder, the Roman physician, prescribed zinc compounds for these uses almost 250 years after the shipwreck in his seminal medical encyclopaedia, Naturalis Historia.

The tablets were also rich in plant and animal oils. Pollen grains from an olive tree suggests that olive oil was a key ingredient, just like it is today in many medical and beauty creams, says Ribechini.

The tablets were discovered in a sealed tin cylinder called a pyxis.

She added that since the findings of such ancient medicines are extremely rare, so preservation of the Pozzino tablets is a very lucky case.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All

More News on: