Aztec pharmacopoeia

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Aztec Pharmacopoeia
One of the earliest civilizations in America was the Aztec civilization, existing from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. The Aztects resided in the central part ofMexico. Their capital was in the man-made island of Tenochtitlan, named after their founding chief, now known as Mexico City. They were the most modernly advanced civilizations of their time, and werethe first American civilization to have a class system, consisting of an upper class, which consisted of the nobility, the middle class, which consisted of almost everyone else, and a lower class,which consisted of slaves. They excelled in areas such as astronomy, education, architecture, art, agriculture, and medicine ("Aztec Civilization"). In fact, many of the herbal remedies that the Aztecsused are used today by the Mexican people, indigenous and non-indigenous alike, and are just as important as medicines bought in pharmacies.
The Aztecs discovered that certain plants and herbshelped with certain ailments. They began to document their findings in books, writing detailed descriptions on what certain plants do and how they should be used. They also had detailed drawings of theplants, so they were easily recognized by sight (Guerra). Though their medicine majorly consisted of herbal rememdies, so much so that they had entire gardens dedicated to medicinal plants, religiousbelifes also played a major role in the healing of their remedies. They believed that a lot of their ailments were caused by spirits, so they went to great deals to prevent illnesses.
The Aztecsdivided ilnesses into two categories; ones in excess of heat, and the others in excess of cold. As a result, plants were also divided into hot and cold categories. These plants were used so that coldplants were used to treat hot ailments, and hot plants were used to used to treat cold ailments. For example, Tagetes, or marigolds, were thought to be hot plants, and they were used to treat phlegmy,...
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