herbal history

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by c hopkins, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. c hopkins

    c hopkins Guest

    The use of herbs has dated as far back as 2700 B.C., although it is
    thought that they were used way before that. Prehistoric man used
    herbs for food, shelter and dyes. Different cultures also used herbs
    for many different ailments. Herbalism is the knowledge and study of
    herbs. The spices you use to cook with are herbs as are some of the
    weeds in your yard. Many people grow their own herbs. An herb os
    characterized as a non-woody plant. The term herb is defined as any
    seed whose stem withers away annually or any plant used as medicine,
    nutritional value, color or dye.

    In prehistoric times, man used herbs way before written history.
    He learned through experimenting which plants were useful and which
    ones could cause death. The first known written records show
    Sumerians used thyme, laurel and caraway seeds 5,000 years ago.
    Around 2700 B.C., the Chinese were also using herbs and wrote a
    Chinese herb book containing 365 medicinal plants and 13 herbal
    prescriptions.

    The Papyrus Ebers, an ancient text written in 1000 B.C. by the
    Egyptians contained 700 herbal antidotes, including references to
    aloe, caraway seeds, garlic, poppy, opium, cator oil, coriander, mint
    and indigo. These herbs were used for medicines, food and dyes. The
    Old Testamnet also mentions people cultivating wheat, rye and barley.
    Hippocrates used medicine as an art. He believed that herbal use,
    fresh air, rest and a balanced diet maintained a "life force". Galen,
    in contrast, believed that large doses of more or less complex drug
    mixtures (plant, animal, and mineral ingredients) combined with magic
    neccessitated correct imbalances that caused disease. The Greeks and
    Romans depended on plants for different reasons: medicines, magical
    symbols, seasonings, dyes ans cosmetics, They used mandrake as an
    anesthetic.

    The Middle Ages brought very little change to the use of herbs as
    medicine. Monks hand copied writings of the Greeks and Roman to
    protect this information. The monks were looked upon for medicinal
    knowledge.

    Today, herbal use is still practiced. Benefits of herbs include:
    cleansing - a natual way to cleanse and purify the body without side
    effects, they also help glands functions properly, gives the body
    extra energy and boosts the immune system by promoting "good
    bacteria". After all, herbs are natural substances that people have
    been using since the beginning of time.
     
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