AskDefine | Define officinal

Extensive Definition

Officinal is a term applied in medicine to drugs, plants and herbs, which are sold in a chemist or druggist shop, and to medical preparations of such drugs, et cetera, as are made in accordance with the prescriptions authorized by the pharmacopoeia. In the latter sense, modern usage tends to supersede "officinal" by "official". The classical Latin officina meant a workshop, manufactory, laboratory, and in medieval Latin was applied to a general storeroom. It thus became applied to a shop where goods were sold rather than a place where things were made.
In botanical nomenclature, the specific epithet officinalis derives from a plant's historical use in pharmacology.

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