Historically pharmacy and pharmaceuticals related to healing originated from plants and knowledge of their use that developed over the ages from prehistoric times (Ellis, 2000). The Arabs established the first drug stores in the world in Baghdad around 754 AD. Their research and pharmaceutical science included some two thousand medicinal herbs to be used in specific treatments (Hadzovic, 1997).
Over time the pharmacy tradition spread to Europe. In the Middle Ages, pharmacy and healing herbs often operated under the purview of the various monastic orders. The monastery of Olimje in Slovenia, founded by the Pauline monks, has the third oldest pharmacy in Europe after Paris and Dubrovnik. Over time, healing herbs and herbalist monks gave way to physicians, modern-day pharmacies and many small drug companies.