Articles tagged with History Of Opium

Opium Dreams

Before heroin, there was opium, which is almost as old as civilization itself. As early as 1600BC, the Egyptians were using opium to calm crying infants. Over 2000 years later, the Victorians invented Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup, an opiate-laden elixir which ensured that children remained seen but not heard. Ancient civilizations were well aware of opium's habit-forming qualities but it took a long time for Western medicine to learn from the ancestors. The Chinese suffered the most. When Portuguese traders sold pipes and tobacco from South America alongside opium from the Middle East, 18th century Chinese society got into opium-smoking in a big way, in plague-sized proportions.