OFFICINAL, a term applied in medicine to drugs, plants and herbs, which are sold in chemists' and druggists' shops, and to medical preparations of such drugs, &c., as are made in accordance with the prescriptions authorized by the pharmacopoeia.
In the latter sense, modern usage tends to supersede "officinal" by "official."
In former times large quantities of it were imported in a dry state into Europe for officinal purposes, the drug having the reputation of being efficacious in diseases of the skin and lungs; and even now it may be found in apothecaries' shops in the south of Europe, country people regarding it as a powerful aphrodisiac for cattle.
The biennial form is that which is considered officinal.
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