Coral was first introduced as medicine to the western world in the 9th century, during the Arab expansion of Europe. The Persian philosopher Al-Kindi included coral in the "Medical Formulary" (830 A.D.), which was adopted by the Arab world during the Muslim conversion of Persia and spread throughout their westward campaigns.

Proof of western coral usage can be seen in the world’s oldest pharmacy (established 1685), which is still in existence and preserved as a museum in northern Spain. Among the rows of bottles on the ancient shelves is a container of coral powder with an inscription that reads: “The blond coral is the only coral used for medicine.” The inscription further states that the coral has a beneficial effect upon the heart, and elevates the mood of the person taking it