Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic drug that is used to relieve severe pain. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Serturner, first distributed by him in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more widely used after the invention of the hypodermic needle in 1857. It took its name from the Greek god of dreams Morpheus (Greek: Morfeas). Morphine is the most abundant alkaloid found in opium, the dried sap (latex) derived from shallowly slicing the unripe seedpods of the opium, or common and/or edible, poppy, Papaver somniferum.
Contributions by Five-, 22.214.171.124, and Thegoodson.