Officinalis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Officinalis, or officinale, is a Medieval Latin epithet denoting substances or organisms – mainly plants – with uses in medicine and herbalism. It commonly occurs as a specific epithet - the second term of a two-part botanical name.

Sepia officinalis (cuttlefish)

Etymology[edit]

The word officinalis literally means "of or belonging to an officina", the storeroom of a monastery, where medicines and other necessaries were kept.[1] Officina was a contraction of opificina, from opifex (gen. opificis) "worker, maker, doer" (from opus "work") + -fex, -ficis, "one who does," from facere "do, perform".[2] When Linnaeus invented the binomial system of nomenclature, he gave the specific name "officinalis", in the 1735 (1st Edition) of his Systema Naturae, to plants (and sometimes animals) with an established medicinal, culinary, or other use.[3]

Species[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stearn, William T. (2004). Botanical Latin. Timber Press (OR). p. 456. ISBN 0-88192-627-2. 
  2. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary, entry "officinalis", accessed May 3, 2010.
  3. ^ Pearn J.,"On 'officinalis' the names of plants as one enduring history of therapeutic medicine. Vesalius. 2010 Dec;Suppl:24-8 Authors: