The History of Medicine

History of Medicines

It is only in recent times that the introduction of new medicines has become available to help health problems which many people are consistently faced with. However, our ancestors used many medicines that we currently use and even some that we would never think of using. For example, the use of honey to cure burns was a common treatment used in ancient times and notably ancient Egypt. This method of treating burns is recorded in 1500 BC and is still used today with honey as the principal ingredient of many over the counter products.

Krill Oil

Krill Oil, is known to have been used by fisheries dating back to the mid-18th century and again in the 1960s when interest in the health benefits of fish oils was renewed. The consumption of krill was popular for many years in Japan, Russia and Korea due to its abundance and nutritional values. Even though historically krill oil was not necessarily used for the same purpose as it is today, it was still a valued source of nutrition for certain countries in the past.

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Green Tea Extract

The history of Green Tea is primarily focused in ancient China where it was used as an herbal medicine for countless years. Records showing this use date back to the Han Dynasty from206 BC to 220 AD. The tea is made from the leaves of the Chinese Camellia Sinensis tree. It is believed that the tea leaves were first used for chewing and eating raw, however as time progressed the leaves were also used in cooking and to add flavour to various waters and drinks.

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Acai Berry

The acai berry is native to the Amazon rainforests dating back thousands of years, however it wasn’t until the late 1900s that people other than the Amazonians became aware of the existence of the berry and it's benefits. Due to the berry’s medicinal properties, it became a cure for the Amazonian tribe’s various ailments and an important part of their diet to prolong their lives.

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Garlic and Parsley

It is known that garlic has been used as a food ingredient and for its medicinal purposes as far back as 2000 BC throughout the ancient world including Rome, India, Egypt, China and Greece. Although these countries were separated from each other with little if any contact, they held the same understanding of the benefits of garlic and used it as a food supplement to increase the productivity of workers and even in the hot sun. Throughout time, further medicinal benefits of garlic were found such as protecting the skin, treating wounds, relieving constipation and helping circulatory ailments.

In history, parsley was first recorded to be grown in ancient Greece, but not as a medicine. This is because in Greek mythology, parsley was said to have grown from the blood of Archemorus, the forerunner of death. Due to this association with death, parsley was used for in burials and it was also grown in gardens as a border. However, later in time it was found by Europeans and was eaten for its medicinal properties prior to being eaten as a food. It has been recorded to have been cultivated now for over 2000 years.

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Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto was historically used by Native Americans as a food and a medicinal aid and the plant would be dried out to preserve for use all year round. Saw Palmetto is now thought to boost strength, recover libido and to reduce prostate cancer and plants are known to live to 500 – 700 years of age.

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