A Short History of Herbs

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Herb-Plants-3 A Short History of HerbsHerb Plant Story The world of today is a world of progress, no one doubts about that. We have managed to do in 200 years of uninterupted industrial revolution, what we couldn’t do in thousands and thousands of tumultuous history. And yet, with all these technological breakdowns and synthetic substances, unnatural food, not to remark the reign of King Plastic, a few people still find the power and the wisdom to inquire themselves how people previously remained healthy and fit without nutritional vitamins, drugs, even antibiotics.

Their secret was that that they used what Mother Nature gave them: the plants to heal themselves. thankfully, this know-how hasn’t been forgotten; despite the fact that they’re not so widely used, plants have discovered their place in our civilization.

The story begins thousands of years ago, before the recorded history, when man didn’t know how to write or read, but knew how to go after their instincts. They realized that certain herbs could alleviate their pains, others could commit a wound disappear and others may even kill them. throughout time, societies developed and with them appeared the signifies to transmit their know-how other than orally.

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5000 years ago, in elderly China, people used rhubarb (Rheune palmatum) as a purgative without knowing whatever about the actual active substances they contained. in addition, they used Ephedra to treat asthma, although the substance called ephedrine was realized much later, in 1887 AD. All oriental elderly civilizations had their insights into the fascinating world of botany, as plants were one of the few elements to which they could resort to cure themselves.

The famous king Hammurabi of Babylon (18th century BC) adviced mint to heal constipation and other digestive disorders. Mesopotamian physicians considered that the absolute time to take a herbal remedy was at night or early in the morning, a principle which is confirmed these days by modern studies. The Indians had an entire system of rules, prescriptions, remedies and practices, called Ayurveda, multiple of which involucred the utilization of plants.

They in addition had strict rules about when, by whom and from where the plants should be collected
People in elderly Egypt knew and used the castor-oil plant, wormwood, saffron and oregano to cure and disinfect wounds; they in addition put coriander in their tombs so as to the spirit will prevail healthy in his afterlife. There are written files of their utilization of garlic (especially for the workmen who built the pyramids), indigo, mint and opium.

The Greek and Roman civilizations Herb story

The Greek and Roman civilizations have produced a major cooperation to the medical science. regardless much of their studies stemmed from other cultures (Mesopotamian, Egyptian), they added precious information and, in time, they became more and more concerned about the diseases and cures as natural and realistic phases, instead of spiritual or magical. doctors like Hippocrates, Dioscoride and others have recorded their discoveries; their works would enlighten the pre-medieval civilizations for multiple centuries after their death. Dioscorides wrote De Materia Medica (1st century AD), which contained a list of hundreds of medicinal plants, in conjunction with their description and curative qualities.

The Dark Ages herbal studies

The Dark Ages met with a lack of any additionally recorded herbal studies; the know-how was possibly transmitted from generation to generation – parents taught children, monks, even herbalist taught apprentices. anyhow, there lived an excellent Persian doctor by the name of Avicenna (Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Abd Allah Ibn Sina) who wrote one of the most famous books in the history of medical science: The Canon, which in addition contained information about how plants should be used and their properties.

Swiss herbal research

In1527, the Swiss thinker Paracelsus proves that only a small component of the plant has an consequence upon the human body (1g per 20 kg of plant), which is what we now call active substance. Later on, scientists have developed techniques to isolate these substances.

However, the first complete categorization of all known medicinal plants was printed in a book called Theatrum Botanicum by John Parkinson in 1640 AD. In 1649 Nicholas Culpeper pulished A Physical Directory, which is considered one of the absolute herbal pharmacopoeia manuals still quoted today.

As chemistry as a science developed, doctors started to use more and more widely synthetic medicines, such as aspirin, which proved to have side effects. Yet all pharmacists and drug producers confirm the fact that, unlike artificially synthesized substances, medicines extracted from plants are more accessible to the metabolism and friendlier with the human body.

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