Following a request from Mithridates, who understood his enemies sought to poison him, Crateuas, using dozens of herbal ingredients, concocted the famous Mithridatium. a) Fennel: The ancient Greeks saw fennel (also referred to as sweet fennel and fenkel) as a natural … It might, therefore, be to our advantage to welcome, once more, nature’s roots as Mother Earth’s generous gifts to humankind. From these origins, augmented by centuries of experiential trial and error, a body of knowledge and lore developed in each region of the world, which became the world's indigenous folk medicine traditions. Throughout the vast majority of mankind's history, herbs and other natural medicinal substances were the mainstay of medical practice. In 129 C.E., Galen was born. The therapeutic use of licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) can be traced back almost 4,000 years, with an entry inscribed in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (18th century BC) revealing its use as a treatment for asthma. In ancient medicine, elecampane root found many applications. Whilst couched in magic and ritual, the Egyptians possessed a great deal of knowledge of healing herbs and repairing physical injuries, amongst the normal population and the workers responsible for building the great monuments of that nation.… LICORICE. Many herbs benefit the liver, the principal organ of the Natural Faculty, in this way, because they're only natural. This is the basis of how Greek Medicine … February 21st, 2019. Instead of producing negative side effects, herbs deliver multiple side benefits. Usually, medicines with qualities and actions contrary or complementary to those of the disorder are used to return the organism to a state of balance. *** BONUS! And the god did, at least to a certain degree, as from the remains of the testes of the inconsiderate youth there sprang an orchid. Although plants and botanical medicines are the mainstay of the world's great herbal healing traditions, not all the natural substances used for medicine are of plant origin. In deficiency conditions, tonic herbs with qualities or essences that the body lacks or needs are used to restore health and wholeness. Herbal medicine amongst humans first evolved as an imitation of this universal healing practice of the animal kingdom. Botanical medicines make up about 85% of traditional pharmacopeias, with mineral substances comprising about 10% and those of animal origin about 5%. 90) Greek … In the Bible, the book of Genesis tells us that the fruit of the tree was used for food, and the leaf for medicine. If these basic guidelines of treatment aren't followed, there's the risk that the physician will cure one disorder only to cause another more desperate than the first. For example, those with a stronger constitution will be better able to withstand the rigors of radical purgatives, whereas those of a more delicate constitution will require a more moderate and gradual cleansing. The importance of roots in ancient Greek medicine related not only to their active ingredients but to their symbolic significance as well. External or topical treatment methods, like compresses, liniments, salves, cataplasms or poultices, and fomentations are also used. When viewed from the perspective of medical history as a whole, man's current infatuation with chemical medicine is only a recent abberation. Ancient Greek thinking and philosophy paved the way for significant advances in medicine. practiced medicine. Ancient Greeks prepared it as a decoction in cases of hemoptysis (coughing up blood) and abscesses, or used it in juice form, blended with honey, to treat burns, snake bites and internal pains. … He and other doctors would help to spread Greek ideas about … Let me illustrate with a few examples: A shrub or small tree no taller than five meters, it is … Out of all the various kinds of herbs that relieve pain, anodynes relax and disperse muscular aches and pains through their gentle warming and dispersing action. Herbs work by enhancing the natural physiological functions and defensive healing reactions of the organism. Claudia Muller-Ebeling, Wolf-Deieter Storl Witchcraft Medicine (1998) Marigolds are called after the Virgin Mary. The root of greater burdock (Arctium lappa), known in ancient times as “arkeion” and “prosopis,” was exploited for many centuries to treat a multitude of medical problems. And so, there is a great degree of overlap between the herbal pharmacopeias of the world's great traditional medical systems. In this pioneering work, the author not only described the properties of the medicinal plants he used, but also included color illustrations, thus providing an invaluable reference guide to ensuing practitioners. })(); The holistic healing philosophy of Greek Medicine states that Man is essentially a product of Nature, or the natural environment. Out of the vast universe of plants with medicinal properties, those most preferred and used by the world's traditional medical systems were mainly those which were gentle and safe yet effective. Nevertheless, the astute herbalist must know not only which herbs are indicated for which conditions, but also which are contraindicated because their basic natures are unsuitable. In modern herbal medicine, throubi greek herb is … Who were the root cutters? About two thirds of medicinal herbs are quite gentle, safe and mild; about a quarter  more of them are potent enough to warrant care in their selection, administration and dosage; and of all the medicinal herbs there are, only about 5 percent are really potent and toxic. The modern scientific view of licorice largely confirms ancient beliefs, attributing its properties to the glycyrrhizin it contains – a substance that also acts as a powerful antiviral. Greek and Roman Medicine Herbs played a prominent role in ancient Greek and Roman medicine. Another curative employed by ancient doctors was the root from the plant elecampane (Inula helenium) that Theophrastus describes as “Chiron’s panacea,” including it in the therapeutic arsenal of the centaur Chiron. In contrast, many synthetic pharmaceutical drugs have very negative or damaging effects on the liver, and are contraindicated with any history of liver disease. In this way, such wounds were healed more quickly, yet certainly without reducing at all the possibility of the fatal disease being transmitted to the victim of the bite. Ancient Greeks without access to a physician often self-treated using herbs to treat the following conditions. Pungent stomachics are even hotter and more stimulating in their action, and strongly eliminate excess coldness and phlegm. Not only that, when it comes to traditional medication, even modern medication is using some ancient Greek manuscript as references and the list of Greek herbs and spices and health benefits below are examples of herbs … var cx = 'partner-pub-3695409518851583:4563490413'; In ancient Greece, one who wore a mandrake-root amulet believed it would ensure him sexual prowess and success, and protect him from wild animal attacks, sudden illnesses and bad luck. herbal medicine is the answer. In ancient times, amazing qualities were associated with the underground part of this plant, most likely because of its resemblance to the male genitalia. We know that the years during and just prior to the Peloponnesian War were a time of terrible adversity, and we know, too, that in times of crisis, people sought solace more in magic than rationality – two disparate approaches to healing that coexisted and were in perpetual conflict throughout the long history of the Greek therapeutic arts. Ancient herbalists, including those of Cathay, India, Sumer, Assyria, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, testify to the use of herbs in the treatment of disease. Olive and coconut oils were used for soothing scrapes, cuts, bruises, rashes, and … Herbal medicine is the use of plants and other natural substances in healing. Contrast this with the use of pharmaceutical drugs: negative side effects, to a greater or lesser extent, of one kind or another, are usually inevitable, no matter which drug is chosen.      Inferior Grade:  Harsh, potent drugs with high toxicity In classical Greek science and medicine, everything in the universe has its own inherent nature and temperament, or balance of the Four Basic Qualities: Hot, Cold, Wet and Dry. Due to the hot and dry climate in Egypt, ancient papyri have survived intact, allowing historians to study the sophisticated techniques employed by Ancient Egyptian physicians. Herbs that treat conditions of the head are called cephalics. *** * * * LIMITED TIME OFFER! Ancient writers frequently associate hemlock with the magic of necromancers and witches, along with its deadly sister aconite. It is still a popular medicinal herb today. 40 to ca. Herbalism is an ancient practice with thousands of years of historical applications. After a century or so of the chemical approach to medicine, its defects are becoming increasingly clear, in contrast to the natural, holistic benefits of the herbal approach. This post was originally published on the blog... Editor’s note: The following has been taken from... why athens is becoming a magnet for young expats, not the new berlin: curator katerina gregos on the greek art landscape, how the 1821 greek revolution changed the world, modiano market: restoring the grandeur of a thessaloniki landmark, architect yorgos tzirtzilakis: the emst, odysseus, and the clown. Greek Medicine is the traditional, indigenous holistic healing system of Western civilization. Herbs are gentler, safer, and have far fewer negative side effects. Ancient Egyptian documents are probably the earliest records of healthcare practice. You see, God holds the patent on herbs, and He isn't selling out! Immunomodulatory:  Optimizing immune system function by reducing harmful allergic or autoimmune reactions while enhancing positive immune response to protect against infections. They were experienced collectors of usually wild herbs and roots, who sold their products directly to physicians, or who served as suppliers to medicine sellers. s.parentNode.insertBefore(gcse, s); Another well-known root-cutter was Crateuas (1st century BC), personal physician to Mithridates VI, King of Pontus and a great opponent of Rome. Many ancient physicians considered peonies a panacea – particularly the species Paeonia mascula and P. officinalis, which Dioscorides respectively calls “male” and “female”, and P. peregrina, pictured above. They also believed that, when it was prepared as a decoction, it was beneficial against medical conditions ranging from dysuria and kidney stones to dysentery and sciatica. Usage of rosemary dates back to 500 b.c. Amazing Greek Ancient Herb Benefits! To more precisely calibrate how Hot, Cold, Wet or Dry an herb was, Galen introduced a system of four degrees for each of the Four Basic Qualities. This isn't to negate the benefits of many modern drugs, which can truly be lifesavers in medical emergencies. when it was used as a culinary and medicinal herb by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The ancient Egyptians knew something about the human body and they sought healing through both herbal …      All herbs that improve stomach and digestive funtion in some way are called stomachics. The earliest mention of its pharmacological effects is found in the Odyssey, according to many Homeric scholars; mandrake root is identified as the main ingredient of the magic potion Circe uses to transform Odysseus’ companions into pigs, by covertly adding it to the dishes of food she offered them. There is no clear distinction between food and medicine; they are all part of a vast continuum. The most famous of all Ancient Greek doctors was Hippocrates. The Greek Way of Herbal Healing. Ecological science also tells us that this is so. Aloe Vera, or "Lily of the Desert", is most famous for the benefits it provides when applied … There is a lot of misleading information put out there by the medical and pharmaceutical industries about the dangers of herbs; this is grossly exaggerated. There are certain things that only natural herbs can do for the body, which will probably never be matched by any synthetic pharmaceutical drug. No pharmaceutical drug that your doctor can prescribe will be able to rebuild your body; only whole foods, nutritional supplements and herbs can do that. With medicine as well as with food, the more natural, whole and unrefined a substance is, the higher it is in nutritive value, and the better it is assimilated and metabolized by the body. The therapeutic use of licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) can be traced back almost 4,000 … Surgery: A Violent Profession: Without effective anesthesia, surgery in ancient Greece was very painful for patients. This herb is common in Greek cuisine … Greek herbal medicine, like other traditional systems of herbal healing, uses the pronciples of herbal tastes and energetics to further refine their therapeutic classification and usage of herbs. With the “mandrake wine” they brewed – the root’s bark having been left to ferment for three months in grape must – doctors treated snake bites, alleviated pain and combated chronic insomnia. Marjoram is a close relative of oregano, with a slightly more delicate flavour, but with similar uses, in soups, stews… All traditional medical systems, including Greek Medicine, have developed conceptual structures and guidelines for studying and determining these effects, which guide the selection and use of herbs. If you are interested to try some herbs in your cooking, these ones are worth using. One of the earliest Greek root cutters was the semi-mythical philosopher, seer and poet Epimenides of Crete (7th/6th century BC), said to have successfully cleansed an Athens guilty of sacrilege after the Cylonian Affair (632 BC), when a failed coup led to a massacre outside a temple. Antibiotics, once hailed as "wonder drugs", are now powerless against many "superbugs" with resistance to multiple antibiotics. In Greek Medicine, several different innovative and efficient herbal preparations, designed to deliver maximum healing power to the site of the disorder, are used in treatment. It seems that ancient Greek physicians were taught its use by the root cutters and plant collectors of Cappadocia and Pontus – regions in which it continues to flourish even today. Modern medicine from the 19th … This is the basis of how Greek Medicine analyzes the natures and properties of herbs. The poet is also known for his herbal blend called “alimon,” a small draught of which he drank every day in order to never feel hungry. All unauthorized commercial reproduction prohibited. The negative side effects of pharmaceutical drugs cause thousands of unnecessary deaths every year. Many modern medicines, on the other hand, suppress key bodily functions and block these natural healing reactions. Copyright © 2007 - 2018 by David K. Osborn L. Ac.. All rights reserved. In botanical medicines, all parts of the plant are used. The practical details of Greek Medicine's system of herbal healing grew out of the accumulated clinical experience of generations of Greek physicians. The remedies for all man's ills are to be found in the biosphere, or the world of Nature, which alone heals. From Dioscorides, a Greek physician and botanist who wrote extensively on the subject, to … Immunomodulatory activity is a bivalent action of herbs, and a manifestation of the biological intelligence inherent in them. What they certainly did not know, however, as it was only discovered in the early 19th century, is that the root contains a valuable polysaccharide, named inulin after the plant’s genus. However, great care was required in its dispensing; otherwise, when the patient awoke, he would likely find himself in the Underworld. So which medicinal herbs that the Ancient Greeks use are worth using today? Excessive heat is cooled, and excessive coldness is warmed and dispersed. Four centuries later, we again encounter it in the writings of Dioscorides, where he calls it “elenion.” According to myth, elenion sprang from the tears of Helen as she mourned the loss of her helmsman, during her voyage to Egypt with Menelaus following the fall of Troy. Herbs have the nutritive value that synthetic drugs lack. Greek Medicine is no exception to this rule, and bases its own system of herbal medicine upon its core concepts:  the Four Basic Qualities, the Four Elements, the Four Humors and the Four Temperaments. Hippocrates, in his writings, warns against the dangers of letting theory jump too far ahead of clinical practice and what actually produces results. Large-Fruited Juniper. By 1200 B.C., Ancient Greece was developing in all areas – trade, farming, warfare, sailing, craftsmanship etc. The root was used by practitioners of the healing arts, too, for its analgesic and narcotic properties. Surgery was done and herbs were applied. Hippocrates, Galen, Charaka and Pedanius Dioscorides, … Theophrastus, in his “Enquiry into Plants” describes what precautions the root cutters of his era took to protect themselves from its catastrophic power: they would draw three circles around the plant in the dirt with a sword, then dance around it cursing before finally digging out the valuable root while looking westward. Greek Medicine is a constitutionally based healing system that treats the person, not the disease. Theophrastus reports (although he characterizes the story as fanciful) that widespread measures were taken to ensure peonies were only uprooted at night, since, if this operation were undertaken in daylight and a woodpecker happened to see you, you risked having your eyes pecked out or irreparable damage done to your rear end. (function() { Practical experience, either one's own or transmitted from one's teachers, is necessary to select the right herbs and medicines, which actually work. The demand for every kind of peony was so great in antiquity that false stories concerning their dangers were widely circulated so that professional root cutters wouldn’t have to face serious competition when collecting them. Herbs usually take longer to work than synthetic drugs, but they work naturally, and get to the root of the problem. Thanks to its appearance (often resembling a human figure) and its hallucinogenic effects, popular imagination has linked the mandrake to magic and associated it with a multitude of myths. Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. HERBS, VARIOUS. Greek Medicine is based on the concept of Medicatrix Naturae - that Mother Nature is a healing goddess. Synthetic drugs, which lack this biological intelligence, are incapable of this immunomodulatory activity. Adaptogenic:  Adjusting, stimulating and optimizing the functioning of multiple organ systems to enhance the healing and protective responses of the organism and improving its resistance to stress and disease. Orestes Davias | The folk medicine of the village healer was immediate and practical, consisting of "this herb for this illness, that herb for that", with a bare minimum of theory behind it. Synthetic drugs, which lack this biological intelligence, work only in one direction, and their dosages must be closely monitored to avoid excess or overdose. Stressing the necessity of tradition and a practical approach, he said: The history of herbalism is closely tied with the history of medicine from prehistoric times up until the development of the germ theory of disease in the 19th century. Only in the late 19th century did the switchover to chemical medicine start to happen; after the introduction of antibiotics as the new "wonder drugs" in the 1930s, the triumph of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs seemed complete. An age-old belief about sernikovotano, as the orchid is now popularly known in Greek, was first expressed by Dioscorides and has been preserved nearly unchanged in many regions: namely, that while the big root, eaten by men, leads to the birth of male children, smaller roots consumed by women will produce girls. De Materia Medica , originally written in Greek by Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40–90 AD) of Anazarbus , Cilicia , a Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist, is one example of herbal … Herbal teas, pills or powders are mixed and matched  with various standard preparations, like syrups or tinctures, which are kept on hand. gcse.src = '' + cx; As other surviving literary sources also make clear, this disturbing theatrical scene depicts practices not unlike the methods of actual root cutters of that era. Juniperus macrocarpa. A pharmaceutical drug is a very potent, refined substance that has been designed for a very narrow, specific purpose; and so, it is not metabolized in a balanced, harmonious way by the body and its humors, which creates a whole host of negative side effects. New powers, however, are also being discovered, including its slow but effective result when taken orally in cases of psoriasis and eczema. The beneficial effect of this soluble fiber on the intestines gives great credence to the ancient belief that elecampane root improves digestion. Behind the PR blitz of the pharmaceutical companies heralding the latest "wonder drug" lies the self-serving profit motive of having a drug that can be exclusively patented and owned.      Middle Grade:  Therapeutic agents to adjust bodily functions Greek Medicine is the traditional, indigenous holistic healing system of Western civilization. And finally, with the advent of antibiotics, synthetic pharmaceuticals took over. In Greece, this happened with Hippocrates. The nonspecific, broad spectrum action of herbal tonics and restoratives is unmatched by any synthetic drug. diseases of women. The entire animal kingdom and all sentient beings depend on the plant kingdom for food, for medicine, indeed for the very air we breathe. With the liver being one of the most important internal organs of the body, do you really want to subject it to the stress and abuse of pharmaceutical drugs? The production of a traditional beverage called salep, for easing coughs and soothing stomach aches, is an art of the East, which became known in Greek lands under the Ottomans. Herbs have the biological intelligence of the Life Force inherent in them. With larger dosages, they could induce a deep lethargy, greatly welcomed by those about to undergo surgical procedures. It was first codified and systematized by the Greek philosopher - physician Hippocrates in the 4th century B.C.E. The main advantages are: Synthetic drugs may give you the quick fix, but this is often deceptive; many times, pharmaceutical drugs merely mask the symptoms, suppress the body's natural healing processes, and may even drive the root cause deeper into the organism. In herbal prescribing, it's also necessary to adjust the formula to the constitutional nature of the person being treated. The tremendous and selfless sacrifice made by the plant kingdom to ensure the continuance of Life cannot be overestimated. -  Hippocrates.      Superior Grade:  Tonics that build health and vitality Aromatic stomachics gently harmonize and stimulate gastric function in cases of sluggishness and congestion of the stomach. Equally important is understanding and recognizing the contributions of ancient Greek … All the world's great religions all have passages from their sacred texts advocating the use of herbs for health and healing. The wheels of Nature (and herbs) grind slowly, but they work very well. The writings of Hippocrates and Galen clearly show that they gave priority to the nutritive, tonic approach over therapeutic intervention. Ιn the few surviving lines of his lost tragedy “Rhizotomoi” (Root Cutters), the playwright Sophocles (496-406 BC) describes the notorious sorceress and healer Medea, naked, chanting and averting her eyes as she collects in a bronze vessel the silvery secretion oozing from the root of a plant sliced open with a bronze sickle. Gods dominated the lives of the Greeks. In the throes of sorrow, his father beseeched Dionysus to forgive him and to restore him to life. Herbal medicines follow the key Hippocratic precept:  First, do no harm. Liver tonics are called hepatics, whereas digestive tonics are called stomachics, and so on. Also, the biological intelligence inherent in herbs gives many of them a bivalent capacity to adjust or optimize key bodily functions, like digestion, circulation, metabolism and immunity. Herbal medicines are superior to synthetic drugs because  they have the nutritive value that the drugs lack. These include herbs, leaves, flowers, fruits, kernels, seeds, pods, peels, rinds, barks, resins, essences, stems and roots.