Pharmacy term has been derived from the word Pharmakon meaning “Drug” or “Medicine”. It dates back to the time of ancient Greece of around 1500 B.C.Many symbols are known for pharmacy all round the world. Few of these have been described below.
One of the most commonly used symbols is Mortar & Pestle. It came from the ancient pharmacists who used to mix and crush the pharmaceutical ingredients in the Mortar & Pestle.
Another commonly used symbol is Rx (recipere) meaning to take or receive. It may also represent the Eye of Horus or the ancient symbol for Zeus or Jupiter.Show Globe was another symbol used earlier in few English speaking countries.
In Netherlands, Bowl of Hygieia is the symbol for pharmacy. It has been derived from the Greek god of Hygiene (Hygieia) who is also the daughter of Asclepius( Greek God of medicine and healing). The Bowl of Hygieia Award is a recognized award for the pharmacists for outstanding contributions in the field. Gaper is another rare symbol used in Netherlands.
Green Greek Cross is the symbol used in France, Argentina, U.K, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Spain and India.
Red Stylized letter ‘A’ is another symbol used in Germany and Austria. This letter has been derived from the german word “Apotheke” meaning pharmacy.
Another recognized symbol is the Rod of Asclepius. It is represented by a rod with a snake rolled over it.
Other symbols may include the combination of the above symbols.