A Brief History Of Herbal Remedies
It has been a proven fact that humans have used plants as medicine for as long as we have existed on earth. Since the very beginning of humanity, we have experimented with various species of plants and have found health benefits and even food! Humans have evolved for thousands of years and through this long process, we learned wisdom through our experiments with herbs and how they benefit us. Whether its herbs for inflammation or herbs for when you’re feeling sick. This is where the history of healing and healthcare began.
How Did We First Figure out Herbs were beneficial to us?
Animals have been around for millions of years, and have a greater understanding of the land compared to humans. Humans have only been around for about 200,000 years. It is reasonable to believe our ideas about herbs and the healing power of plants actually came from observing the animals surrounding us. Animals wounded in the jungles have shown remarkable abilities to heal themselves and it’s actually quite astonishing to witness. For example, there have been observations of capuchin monkeys rub their fur with millipedes to ward off other insects, and chimpanzees who eat Vernonia plants to kill off intestinal worms!
What Were Some Of The First Herbs Used?
The first written records of herbal medicine were created on clay tablets over 6000 years ago! But one of the oldest written and credible remedy books of medicinal plants actually dates back to about 1500 B.C in Egypt. The oldest herb on record is Ginkgo biloba which is still very popular today. It’s amazing to see an herb like this still used today because fossil records show that Ginkgo has been on earth since the Paleozoic period! Egyptians included this herb in their Remedy book mentioned earlier which is called the Papyrus Ebers.
Who Was The Father Of Herbal Medicine?
We all know that herbs have been used by humans for thousands of years but who has the title of “Father of herbal medicine?” This of course was given to Hippocrates (460 B.C. – 377 B.C.) for his innovative use of herbs and Healing Plants. Before aromatherapy was common around the world many people used the plants themselves for healing which was what Hippocrates excelled at. Creating his own theory, the Hippocratic theory. Hippocrates was one of the first physicians to believe that diseases were caused naturally and not by “Gods” or “superstition.” Hippocrates was first to describe varies diseases accurately and has many illnesses named after him.
Herbs For Inflammation
There are many ways to incorporate herbs into your daily diet! As you’ll see most of the herbs listed below will be active ingredients that you can actually cook with!
Origin: Ginger has a really rich backstory and was actually considered VERY valuable about 5,000 years ago. Ancient Indians and Chinese cultures used to use ginger to cure common ailments. By the beginning of the first-century ginger was all over the Mediterranean. Many traders and physicians alike all got their hands on ginger including Hippocrates himself. Ginger has been traded throughout history more than any other spice. It was very valuable for its medicinal benefits. It was used as a warming spice, and a digestive aid. You can buy ginger at your local market for a few dollars but back in the day, you had to give a cow or sheep for it!
Why Does It Help? We all know ginger is really delicious, You can brew it in a tea, or pair it with rosemary and cook a mean steak! But aside from that ginger packs a lot of health benefits including its ability to reduce inflammation. Studies imply that the compounds gingerol and zingerone found in ginger are essentially accountable for the root’s ability to fight inflammation. They have been linked to reductions in many forms of inflammation. It is suggested that 2 to 3 grams of ginger per day may be the safe effective dose to support the body’s anti-inflammatory response.
Origin: Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean and is a member of the mint family. Rosemary dates back to about 500 B.C. and was used as a culinary ingredient and a medicinal herb. Used by you guessed it, Hippocrates, mainly. Later down the road hundreds of years after the great Greek physicians, Rosemary was still in use and was believed to offer protection from the plague in 1603. Since the demand was so high for rosemary during this time, you could buy 2 pigs for the same price of a hand full of rosemary!
Why Does It Help? Rosemary contains a unique compound called rosmarinic acid commonly used to stabilize health supplements. Rosemary impacts our bodies production of superoxide dismutase. This is an enzyme that helps break down potentially harmful molecules from our blood. This in return prevents damage to tissues. Apigenin and diosmin are two compounds already in rosemary that prevent your body from producing prostaglandins, which is responsible for causing inflammation.
Origin: Cinnamon has been used by humans for thousands of years! First records show it being used around 2000 B.C. in Egypt. Originally the ancient Egyptians used cinnamon as a fragrance and as a perfuming agent during the embalming of mummies. The Arabs then transported cinnamon throughout Europe in the middle ages. Cinnamon was once only available to the upper class and was considered a luxury.
Why Does It Help? One of the main components of cinnamon is called cinnamaldehyde. It is known to inhibit certain proteins that are factors in causing inflammation, as well as preventing blood from clumping. Which further helps protect against other inflammation-related diseases.