Galenic Medicine: What is it?

by Camille Charlier

Galenic Pharmacy and the Pharmaceuticalization of Essential Oils

by Camille Charlier

We’ve been hearing the catchphrase “Galenic medicine” tossed around in the aromatherapy world quite a bit lately. In conversation, it’s one of those expressions that you sort of nod along with, but later realize you had no idea what your interlocutor was even talking about.

Here’s an example: Aromatherapist Amy Kreydin writes on her website that aromatic medicine draws from both “pharmaceutical standardized methodologies (Gallenic [sic] method) as well as botanical medicine methodologies to calibrate and formulate doses.” She clarifies the distinction with a brief anecdote: “Twenty years ago I used dashes, pinches, scoops, and generally eyeballed my measurements… Today you’ll find me cozied up to a fancy little scale measuring active ingredients in milligrams with a handy little calculator and a mason jar full of pipettes”.1 In Kreydin’s definition, the “Galenic” method is a cipher for “pharmaceutical,” asserted in opposition to intuitive or folk methodologies.

Is this characterization true across the board? A glance at the Wikipedia page (a common source of information for the public) and you’ll find a similar explanation: “Galenic formulation deals with the principles of preparing and compounding medicines in order to optimize their absorption… Today, galenic formulation is part of pharmaceutical formulation. The pharmaceutical formulation of a medicine affects the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and safety profile of a drug”.2 Like Kreydin, Wikipedia’s authors define the Galenic method as a pharmaceutical approach that maximizes safety and bioavailability.

This characterization is also shared by the European Patients’ Academy explanation of Galenic Formulation:

  • Galenics is the process that turns an active ingredient into a ready-to-use medicine that can be dosed as required. Galenic formulation deals with the principles of preparing and compounding medicines in order to optimize their absorption and forms part of pharmaceutics, the discipline (or science) of dosage form design.
  • An active substance is required for formulation development, safety assessment studies, and clinical studies. A sufficient quantity of quality active substance is produced in a chemical development process to be used in safety testing and for scientists to formulate a medicinal product.
  • The medicinal product will comprise the active substance formulation (tablet, cream, suspension,solution), excipients (inactive ingredients such as lactose), and packaging/delivery device (blisterpack, bottle, inhaler, vial, prefilled syringe).3

Curious. Essential oils are rarely considered to be pharmaceuticals, and the pharmaceutical industry itself often exhibits a contemptuous stance regarding aromatic medicine. Indeed, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society published an article in the Pharmaceutical Journal with the withering headline “Claims for therapeutic benefits of essential oils are often bogus”.4

What’s the story with this unrequited love affair between aromatherapy and pharmacy?

Essential oils straddle a funny line. On the one hand, they’re extracted from plants, part of a rich folk healing tradition, and in the United States largely considered to be “cosmetics” by regulatory bodies. Then again, essential oils are highly concentrated, capable of eliciting drug-like medicinal action, and extensively researched using a pharmacological paradigm.

Practitioners of aromatic medicine, above and beyond proponents of any other complementary modality including western herbalism or acupuncture, have sought to achieve legitimacy through technicalization of the field.

We’ve all witnessed the fascination with constituent identification, eager elucidation of the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of individual constituents, and the ever-expanding slew of scientific studies.

But there’s one little problem with a pharmacological approach to aromatherapy: Essential oils are wildly complex, containing hundreds of constituents that vary by plant species, climate, soil conditions, and a litany of other variables. The oils are not easily reduced to simple subunits of meaning with the scientific scalpel.

Why, despite the distinctly complex nature of essential oils, are aromatherapists aping the fundamentally reductionist pharmaceutical industry? What can be gained from the “Galenic” approach; what are its limitations? And what does Galen have to do with it? Let’s take a look at the man’s life, his medical practice, and his legacy to clarify what people really mean when they say they practice “Galenic medicine.” And in the process, perhaps, we can revive a little Galenic wisdom that’s been forgotten.

Galen, the Man


Galen of Pergamum was born 129 CE in what is now Bergama, Turkey. Physician, philosopher, and writer, Galen revolutionized medical theory in the Byzantine world, Islamic middle east, and Europe.

The son of an affluent architect, Galen was educated to become a philosopher. Inspired by his hometown’s shrine to Asclepius (the Greek god of healing and medicine) Galen instead pursued a career in medicine. He studied at Smyrna (modern day Izmir, Turkey) and at the greatest medical center of the ancient world, the infamous Alexandria of northern Egypt. After over a decade of learning, he returned to Pergamum where he held the position of chief physician to a troop of gladiators retained by the high priest of Asia, one of the wealthiest and most influential leaders in the province.

In 162 Galen relocated to Rome, where, thanks to his prodigious education, public demonstrations of anatomy, success with wealthy and influential patients (who had been pronounced incurable by other doctors), and rhetorical skill in public debates, he rose to eminence in the medical profession. His wealthy background, social connections, and friendship with his old philosophy tutor Eudemus bolstered his status as physician-philosopher.

Galen departed Rome suddenly in 166, purportedly due to the “intolerable envy” of his colleagues… but more likely driven by the impending plague. The joint emperors Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius summoned Galen to join them on a military campaign in northern Italy, and after Verus’ sudden death in 169, Galen returned to Rome. There he served Marcus Aurelius and subsequent emperors Commodus and Septimius Severus as physician. He is thought to have died c. 216 after a long and productive life at the age of 87.5

Anatomical Studies

Galen considered anatomy to be the foundation of medical knowledge, and strengthened his knowledge by performing dissections and experiments on Barbary apes, pigs, sheep, and goats. Through these observations, he identified seven pairs of the twelve cranial nerves, described the valves of the heart, and differentiated the veins and arteries based on structural discrepancies.

 

L0020565 Galen, Opera omnia, dissection of a pig.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk

One of his most valuable contributions was the observation that arteries convey blood, not air, as had been taught for the previous 400 years. Through his vivisections Galen discovered that the brain controls the voice, revealed the function of the spinal nerves, and demonstrated the functions of the kidney and bladder.

The Humoral System

Building on the work of fellow physician-philosopher Hippocrates, Galen espoused a humoral model of human health. He posited that well-being requires an equilibrium between the four primary bodily fluids, or humors: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm. Each humor is composed from the four elements (earth, air, water, fire), and presents two of the four primary qualities — hot, cold, wet, and dry. In contrast to Hippocrates, Galen asserted that humoral imbalances can accrue in specific organs, as well as the body as a whole. This shift led to increased diagnostic precision and the prescription of more specific remedies that could bring the body back into balance. This codicil to Hippocratic theory influenced medicine for over 1400 years.6

The Marriage of Medicine and Philosophy

In ancient Greece, physical health was inseparable from personal philosophy and morality. The development of Galen’s medical ideology arise not only from the Hippocratic corpus, but also the philosophical doctrines of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. In Galen’s cultural context, philosophers and physicians both aimed to answer the crucial Socratic question: How does one live a “good life?” At this time, a good life required that one exert themselves in both the gymnasium and the symposium; moderation in body and mind was essential for well-being. In medicine, health was achieved by balancing the humors. In philosophy virtue arose through a moral temperance between excess and deficiency. Bodily health was thus analogous to moral virtue, and physicians and philosophers were practical guides towards mesotes, the “golden mean,” or “middle way.”

A Galenic physician practiced their art by assisting nature (physis) in restoring the patient to balance; nature was both the source, and the limit, of the physician’s capabilities. Galenic physicians incorporated elements of philosophy — nature philosophy, logic, and ethics — into the medical practice of diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.

Natural philosophy gave insight into the human nature and the nature of the universe; the bodily humors (blood, black bile, yellow bile, phlegm) were formed from the elements of the universe (fire, water, air, earth) and endowed with qualities (hot, cold, wet, dry). Logic enabled a practitioner to make sound judgments about a health condition, using both reason and sensory experience to deduce the true nature of things. A Galenic physician made observations, and then exercised logic to extrapolate the invisible from the visible; to elucidate hidden causes from manifest symptomatology.

Ethics, the sphere of human conduct, informed the physician’s treatment. Galenic therapeutics up through the Middle Ages advocated the cultivation of healthy habits to restore balance to body and soul. A hearty emphasis was placed on diet, and the art and craft of moral and somatic virtues. To achieve health, one must keep the naturals (elements, humors, parts of the body, faculties) in order, and regulate the non-naturals (rest, motion, food and drink, evacuation, passions, and errors of the soul). A virtuous physician was thought to hasten the healing powers of nature by cultivating a relationship of amicable trust with their patient.7 To put it another way, Galen “followed the judicious Hippocratic principle of allowing first the ‘vis medicatrix naturae,” the healing force of Nature (Φυσις), a chance to assert itself, and intervening only if this proved ineffective”.8

Galen also recognized the role that emotion can play in physical health. His skill in differential diagnosis was renowned, particularly when it came to discriminating between illness caused by organic factors, and illness with an emotional etiology. In one notorious case, Galen took the pulse of a young woman exhibiting signs of physical illness, and noted its sudden irregularity. After eliminating potential physical causes of sickness, Galen concluded that there was no organic pathology but instead an emotional underpinning to her somatic symptoms.9

Galen’s Legacy

Ares Pasipoularides, consulting professor of surgery at Duke University’s School of Medicine, sums up Galen’s contributions to medicine in one momentous article abstract, published in the International Journal of Cardiology.

He writes:
Galen… was the ultimate authority on all medical subjects for 15 centuries. His anatomical/physiological concepts remained unchallenged until well into the 17th century. He wrote over 600 treatises, of which less than one-third exist today. The Galenic corpus is stupendous in magnitude; the index of word-entries in it contains 1300 pages. Galen’s errors attracted later attention, but we should balance the merits and faults in his work because both exerted profound influences on the advancement of medicine and cardiology. Galen admonished us to embrace truth as identified by experiment, warning that everyone’s writings must be corroborated by directly interrogating Nature.10

Galen’s emphasis on empiricism, or “directly interrogating Nature” may be his greatest bequest, as experimentation is the foundational principle of modern scientific research.

During his lifetime Galen’s writings were widely read and circulated. Vivian Nutton, British historian of medicine who specializes in Galen, notes that, while Galen’s fame and influence may be attributed to his prolificacy, his engagement across fields from medicine to linguistics to logic, along with his penchant for shameless self-promotion, likely contributed.

By 500 CE Galen’s work was being taught at Alexandria, and his ideas were jostling for prominence with the accepted knowledge of medical handbooks in the Byzantine world. In the 9th century Arabs collected and translated Galen’s work from the original Greek manuscripts. Arab physician at the court of Baghdad, Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq, prepared an annotated list of 129 works that Galen and his followers had translated from Greek into Arabic and Syriac. This collection ultimately laid the groundwork for a strong Galenic basis in subsequent Arabic medicine.

Europe, on the other hand, was slower to catch on. In the late 11th century Hunayn’s translations, along with commentaries on them by Arab physicians, and occasionally the original Greek writings, were translated into Latin. These translations became the theoretical foundation for the new medieval universities. From 1490, Italian humanists took it upon themselves to free Galen from medieval misunderstandings by preparing Latin translations directly from the original Greek manuscripts. These texts reimagined Galen as a clinician, diagnostician, and anatomist, a departure from his medieval persona.

Galen’s diagnostic methodology, empiricism, and independent thinking were celebrated by his new students; physicians were eager to repeat the experiments and dissections he’d recorded. Ironically, in following his counsel to investigate the body, new followers soon discovered that Galen and his old acolytes had made some errors: Flemish physician Andreas Vesalius revealed in 1543 that Galen’s anatomy of the body was often more animal than human. Galen’s theories of circulatory physiology persisted until they were debunked by English physician William Harvey in his 1628 publication Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus, in which he accurately delineated the circulation of the blood.11

Interestingly, Galen’s work is notorious for its flaws and contradictions. Many of Galen’s so-called “errors,” however, arose from a scribes’ game of telephone in which the defects of perpetually-copied third-hand translations were duplicated and magnified. Some glitches were contrived or cropped up from critics’ misinterpretations. Regardless of the source of these fallacies, future generations learned as much, if not more, from Galen’s mistakes, as from his medical successes. Indeed, the resurrection and subsequent overthrow of the Galenic tradition was a key feature in the ascension of modern science.12

The Modern Relevance of Galenic Medicine

According to Galen, the etiology of illness in the human body corruption of the individual humors, particularly bile and phlegm. Historically, the treatment for such imbalances included the therapeutic methods of bloodletting, purgatives, and emetics.13 These days, the concept of humoral imbalance is still considered a valid one in some forms of medicine, modern western herbalism for example. Bloodletting and purgatives may be less common, but the use of herbs and aromatherapy to bring the body back into balance are widely used therapeutic strategies.

Galen’s Pharmacy

Galen was famous for his apothecary. In his lifetime he personally gathered and amassed extensive reserves of superior quality medications.14 An epic 16 centuries after his death, Galen’s philosophy continues to influence western pharmacy. Consider this quotation from the preface to the 1893 publication of “Galenic pharmacy : a practical handbook to the processes of the British Pharmacopoeia:”

In order that the apprentice or student may obtain a thorough insight into the manipulation of drugs for the production of preparations therefrom, there is no substitute for laboratory work, none whatever ; he is therefore urged to work out examples of every class of preparations, and on no account to omit those which are marked with an asterisk.

Galen’s emphasis on empiricism, on “directly interrogating Nature” through experiment, is evident in turn-of-the-century British pharmaceutical teachings. The author, pharmaceutical chemist A. Cripps, goes on to define “Galenic Pharmacy” in the introduction. He writes:

Galenical or galenic pharmacy is the art of producing preparations of natural substances for medical use, whilst still remaining mere mixtures of more or less active as well as inactive constituents. It is so called after Galen, a celebrated medical writer of the second century, who practised the art of healing by means of vegetable products.15

Now this is interesting. A foundational principle of pharmacy as we know it is the identification of “active constituents” that can be either extracted and concentrated from “vegetable products” or synthesized/manufactured. Such “active” ingredients are thought to produce targeted, and thus more effective, treatments. Recent research, however, indicates that using whole plants often produces superior results over individual constituents alone. The “inactive” terpenoids of Cannabis (1,8-cineole, pulegone, α-terpineol, terpineol-4-ol, ρ-cymene, borneol and Δ-3-carene), for example, have been shown to exert an “entourage effect” that produces a more profound effect than “active” cannabinoids alone. This phenomenon is widely observed in studies of whole essential oils vs. isolated single constituents; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.16

Let’s take a look at another interpretation of Galenic philosophy in modern pharmacy. In the 1917 text Principles of Pharmacy, author Henry Vinecome Arny defines Galenic preparations as “Those preparations in the manufacture of which no chemical action is involved.” He contrasts Galenic preparations with “chemical preparations,” which arise as a result of “chemical action.” The recipe for a cold cream, for example, is as follows:

The cold cream maker is directed to:
Reduce the spermaceti and the white wax to fine shavings, and melt them at a moderate heat; add the expressed oil of almond and stir, continuing the heat until the mixture is uniform; then gradually add the stronger rose water, previously warmed, and in which the sodium borate has been dissolved, stirring the mixture rapidly and continuously until is congeals and becomes of uniform consistence.17

This is a “Galenic preparation” in the sense that “inactive” substances like almond oil and white wax are formulated with the therapeutic “stronger rose water” to maximize its ameliorative output.

The New Galenic Pharmacy

Fast-forward to the present. According to the European Patients’ Academy, the principles of Galenic pharmacy demand that medicines are stable, contain an accurate dose, render the “active” substance available for absorption, are convenient to administer and easy to take, and are economically produced according to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). This organization defines “Galenics” as the “process that turns an active ingredient into a ready-to-use medicine that can be dosed as required. Galenic formulation deals with the principles of preparing and compounding medicines in order to optimize their absorption.” Galenic pharmacy according to this definition is primarily concerned with the pharmacology of an administered substance, and, in particular, its mode of administration.

The Academy continues:

The administration form also influences absorption, availability of the active substance, and therefore a medicine’s therapeutic effect. It determines how the active ingredient enters the body, where and in what dosage is released, and the time it takes to be absorbed. In addition, the mode of administration must ensure that the patient will be able to dose the medicine safely and handle it easily.

Formulation scientists ensure that the substance can be absorbed by the body and that the therapeutic dose reaches the targeted organ. Not every active substance is suitable for ingestion as a tablet, and special demands on the form of administration (injection into the eye, products for inhalation, or tablets that dissolve in the patient’s mouth) regularly create new challenges for formulation scientists.18

In modern aromatic medicine, the use of the phrase “Galenic Method” seems to be synonymous with “pharmaceutical method,” and it’s leveraged as a means of differentiating between “sloppy” folk techniques, and rigorous, “respectable” pharmaceutical approaches.

Then again, we could look at it as simply common sense. In many contexts, “Galenic” refers to a method of essential oil delivery that maximizes the benefits while minimizing or offsetting potential damage. Is that not what all practitioners or users of natural remedies would like?

Let’s look at another example. French pharmacist Hélène Velé writes in her 2015 thesis that there are three modes of administering essential oils as edible solids; as capsules, “gastro-resistant” (enteric coated) capsules, and “neutral impregnated tablets.” In the tradition of Galen, these include “inactive” ingredients that serve as vehicles for the essential oil treatment. Enteric coated capsules are used specifically for essential oils irritating to the stomach such as wintergreen, for patients with “fragile gastric mucosa,” or in cases “where the action of the essential oil must be exerted only on the intestinal bacterial flora.” “Neutral tablets,” composed of a base of “inert” calcium carbonate, sugar, or honey, are “suitable for the classic oral route and the sublingual route”.19

A French article on Galenic formulation published in Revue de l’infermière (“the Nurses’ Magazine”) corroborates Velé’s approach:

Galenic science is interested in the art and the way of formulating an active principle with an excipient in order for it to be administered to the patient. The pharmaceutical forms envisage different administration routes, including by mouth. Nurses need to handle and sometimes modify the pharmaceutical form of a drug to make it easier for the patient to take. This requires vigilance.20

This final sentence sums up a key sentiment in modern “Galenic” methodology: the exigency of vigilance. The vigilance, in one sense, connotes diligence and care, qualities of certain value in the practice of medicine. Indeed, the word vigilance arises from the Latin vigilantia, or “wakefulness.” But how is this quality expressed in modern medicine? This particular type of acuity or attention manifests itself as meticulous measurement, reliance on scientific experiment (often performed on animal models or in vitro), elucidation and application of so-called “active” constituents derived from plant-based compounds, and a generalized pharmacological approach that relies on the authority of “experts” to deliver a “properly” compounded formula to passive patients.

Let’s consider one final example of modern “Galenic” pharmacy. 2012 French publication La connaissance des huiles essentielles: qualitologie et aromathérapie (“Knowledge of essential oils: quality and aromatherapy”) offers a whole chapter on “Galenic Pharmacy.”21 The authors run through modes of administration, or “interfaces” — digestive, cutaneous, pulmonary, and genitourinary, and then proceed to lay out “Galenic” formulations for each. In the case of intestinal infection, for example, the goal is to prevent the treatment from being absorbed into the digestive tract, so that the maximum concentration remains as a gastrointestinal “dressing.” Such an administration would be performed “away from meals” and at bedtime, to allow the “dressing” to better coat the mucus membrane.

When it comes to topically applied essential oils, the authors propose the “Galenic technology” of using “inactive” ingredients to enhance transdermal absorption. If administered with a lipophilic substance, they claim, essential oils will penetrate the dermis but tend to remain localized, ideal for the treatment of local microbial infection or sprains and inflammation. Conversely, a hydrophobic ointment made with waxes or paraffin would be used in the case of chapped lips, to keep the essential oils externally localized to the tissues in need. Hydrophilic emulsions in a lipophilic carrier would allow for transdermal penetration of the essential oils, and subsequent entry into the circulatory system, which would likely elicit a more systemic effect.

Intelligent formulation is all well and good, but here’s the interesting part: Prior to giving dosage recommendations, the authors offer a disclaimer. They acknowledge that the techniques and Galenic dosages proposed “do not fall within the scope of a pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic study of preparations.” They note that formulas used in aromatherapy would need to comply with pharmaceutical legislation to be accepted as “drugs,” and for this to be achieved they would need “adequate” studies of each specific formulation and the essential oils that make them up. The source of their wisdom, they confide, is “the fruit of experience and a study of several thousand of magistral prescriptions and long hours of discussion with the doctors, pharmacists and toxicologists specializing in the prescription of [essential oils]”.22

Huh. Again we find aromatherapy straddling two seemingly irreconcilable worlds; the fervent aspiration towards a pharmacological approach, and the complex nature of essential oils that resists such pharmaceuticalization. What to do? Scientific research as we know it is fundamentally reductive, while the properties of essential oils are synergetic and emergent. Is it possible to resolve these contradictions?

Empiricism: Making Sense with the Senses

What would Galen think about the usage of “Galenic” as an adjective for methodology in modern aromatic studies? I’m guessing he’d be enthused about the application of experimentation in pharmacy, but perhaps regret the lost emphasis on the therapeutic relationship in medicine. Let’s take one final look at Galen’s philosophy of empiricism to see how it might inform our practice of a more holistic aromatic medicine.

Galen, Ares Pasipoularides notes, “Attained grand authority in Rome through copious energy, immense self-confidence, high moral principles, vast learning, virtually flawless logic and persuasive rhetoric, combined with remarkable practical proficiencies as an observer, a clinician dedicated to service to the ill, rich or poor, and an avid experimenter”.23 Galen’s role as “avid experimenter” is perhaps his most relevant contribution to modern discourse; empiricism is the precise cornerstone of the Scientific Method.

Galen’s influence on modern scientific methodology is clear. “The Prince of physicians,” “the divine Galen,” as William Harvey referred to him with “tangible admiration,” warned us that all writings must be verified by experiential testing. Before Harvey, influential surgeon Guy de Chauliac (1300-1368) said the same thing. Of his fellow surgeons he spoke, “Let them follow the doctrine of Galen, which is entirely made up of experience and reason, and in which one investigates things and despises words”.24

Observation and experimentation may be the core of modern scientific methodologies, but these qualities do not belong exclusively to the jurisdiction of pharmaceutical research science. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, empiricism is defined as “the view that all concepts originate in experience, that all concepts are about or applicable to things that can be experienced, or that all rationally acceptable beliefs or propositions are justifiable or knowable only through experience”.25 Synonyms include “practical,” “firsthand,” and “hands-on.”

How intriguing, then, that modern medicine and the research that toils on its behalf are so often alienated from actual lived experience. Scientific research often tells us about the effect of isolated constituents on a cluster of cells in a petri dish. Prognostications and theoretical musings, however often lead to medical misunderstandings, a mistake that Galen himself suffered from. Social taboos against human dissection stymied Galen’s investigations, and the extrapolations he made from animal research often produced errors. His model of human uterine anatomy is, for example, the uterus of a dog.26 These days, instead of uterus of a dog we’ve got excised rabbit ileum and paw of Wistar rat… it almost sounds like an incantation. But there’s something missing from these rituals — the healing power of care, often construed as a “placebo effect,” that arises from the healer-client relationship.27

The pharmaceutical approach to understanding essential oils reminds me of the polyp experiments performed by 18th century Swiss naturalist Abraham Trembley. He sliced fleshy little freshwater polyps (Hydra vulgaris) in half and, much to his surprise, both parts regenerated into whole independent living organisms. He cut these again in two, and now four prevailed. It was a crisis for scientists and theologians of the time — if you could chop up a creature and each part survived autonomously, what does that mean about the soul? Some concluded it didn’t exist; others conjectured that little pieces of severed soul regenerated along with the material flesh. Thinkers and researchers were flummoxed, arguments raged; ink spewed in great black gouts as everyone desperately tried to make sense of Trembley’s findings.

Skip ahead a couple hundred years, and, in a way, we’ve got a similar predicament on our hands. With the scientific method, we’re cutting down complex phenomena, reducing them to their component parts in an effort to make meaning. But where is the soul? What is aliveness? What is healing?

Essential oils, like the infinitely generative hydra, resist such simplifications.

Sure, the “Galenic method” could be interpreted as strictly a pharmaceutical approach, with essential oils broken down to their “active” constituents and pharmacologically evaluated in some model system in the lab. But then again, one might take “Galenic” to mean empirical in the sense of “first-hand.” In the case of aromatherapy, holistic praxis might include the prioritization of sensory experience, the development of a relationship with whole essential oils and their plant sources, and cultivation of a robust therapeutic bond between the healer and the person who needs healing.

Remember, the true root of empiricism is
the ancient Greek word empeiria — experience.

This blog post was taken from our new Aromatic Medicine course.

References:

  1. Kreydin, A. (2016). Aromatic medicine: internal dosing of essential oils. The barefoot dragonfly (blog), retrieved from: http://www.thebarefootdragonfly.com/aromatic-medicine-internal-dosing-of-essential-oils/.
  2. Wikipedia. (2017). Galenic Formulation.” Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Galenic_formulation&oldid=775291722.
  3. European Patients’ Academy. (2015). Galenic formulation: How medicines are formulated. Retrieved from: https://www.eupati.eu/non-clinical-studies/how-medicines-are-formulated-galenic-formulation/
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  6. Nutton, V. (n/d). Galen of Pergamum, Greek physician. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Galen-of-Pergamum.
  7. Farage, S. (2005). Galenic medicine.” Encyclopedia of science, technology, and ethics. https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/galenic-medicine.
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  11. Nutton, Vivian. “Galen of Pergamum, Greek Physician.” Encyclopedia britannica, October 5, 2018. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Galen-of-Pergamum.
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  15. Cripps, R. A. (1893). Galenic Pharmacy : A Practical Handbook to the Processes of the British Pharmacopoeia. London : J. & A. Churchill. http://archive.org/details/galenicpharmacyp00cripuoft.
  16. Russo, Ethan B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology 163(7), 1344. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x.
  17. Arny, H.V. Principles of pharmacy. W. B. Saunders, 1917.
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  22. Kaloustian, J., & Hadji-Minaglou, F. (2012). La connaissance des huiles essentielles qualitologie et aromathérapie ; entre science et tradition pour une application médicale raisonnée. Paris, France: Springer-Verlag.
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  24. IBID
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