Monday, March 09, 2015

Ancient medicine

Hippocrates had to start somewhere. The Feb 2012 issue of The New Scientist had story by Alain Touwaide, director of Preservation of Medical Traditions at the Smithsonian, says renowned doc of old, Hippocrates, would have treated a headache with iris, vinegar, and rose perfume. If the headache was chronic--squirting cucumber.

For a stomachache--dates, hen's broth, and cultivated lettuce. Hen's broth--could that be chicken soup?

Touwaide has scoured libraries around the world--and even the stores in shipwrecks--for nostrums.

Broccoli was huge--and used to treat gyno disorders. Cato thought Romans should grow broccoli as a sort of first aid kit.

Walnuts, and black and white horehound were also popular--as anti-inflammatories. They also kill bacteria, even drug-resistant staph.

An effective malaria treatment--used now--came from the artemisia plant, which was also picked up on by the Chinese.

Ancient medicine was based on 45 core plants, many of which were grown near patients in kind of medical orchards.

In ancient times, skin diseases were very prevalent. Then came digestive problems, urinary, and gyno.

Still, he says--emphatically--he does not try the ancient remedies on himself.

Not even horehound candy? I used to like that.

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