Amygdala Amara. Amygdala Dulcis.
The seeds of Bitter Almonds (Prunus amygdalus, var. amara), known to be poisonous in the days of antiquity, were yet used medicinally throughout the Middle Ages. Valerius Cordus (169) employed them as an ingredient of trochisci. They are referred to by Scribonius Largus (589) in the century preceding Christ. Their poisonous qualities were shown to depend on hydrocyanic acid by Bohm of Berlin at the beginning of the last century. Bitter almonds have never been a favorite in domestic medicine, although as stated, used in that direction. They have been scarcely more a favorite in licensed medication.
The Almond, Prunus amygdalus, var. dulcis, is one of the trees mentioned in the Old Testament. In the Book of Genesis the patriarch Israel commands his sons to carry the fruit, as a production of Palestine, as a present to Egypt. Theophrastus (633) makes copious references to the Almond, and its name threads the stories of the Arabian Nights (25 and 88). It was mentioned with groceries and spices a thousand years ago, in a charter granted the monastery of Corbie, in Normandy, by Chilperic II, king of France (A. D. 539-584). Charlemagne, A. D. 812, wisely ordered the Almond tree introduced on the imperial farms. Almonds became an important item of Venetian trade in the fourteenth century. In 1411, the Knight Templars of Cyprus (Flückiger) taxed almonds, honey, and sesame seed. Mediaeval cookery consumed almonds in enormous quantities, and as a nourishing food in the form of an emulsion the fruit crept into domestic medicine, and thence into professional use.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.