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Herbal medicine in ancient Egypt


Civilization in Ancient Egypt was not only the pyramids and tombs, but it involved all aspects of human life.  Health  and wellbeing  was  one of  the  most cared  arts  by the  pharaohs.  Both the physicians  and magicians  participated in  the  field of  medical  care. From  holistic  view they  conceived  health and sickness as an unceasing fight between good and evil. Most of the complementary medicine modalities were originated  from  ancient Egyptians.  One  of these  modalities  is  herbal  medicine. 

Herbs  played a  major  part in  Egyptian  medicine. The plant  medicines  mentioned in  the  Ebers Papyrus  for instance  include , frankincense, fennel, cassia,  senna,  thyme, henna,  juniper,  aloe, linseed and  castor  oil -  though  some  of  the translations are less than certain.

 Cloves of garlic have been found in Egyptian burial sites, including the tomb of Tutankhamen and  in the  sacred  underground temple  of  the bulls  at Saqqara. Egyptians thought garlic and onions  aided endurance,and consumed large  quantities  of them. Raw garlic  was routinely given  to asthmatics  and to  those suffering  with bronchial-pulmonary  complaints.

 Onions  helped against problems of the digestive System. Garlic  was an  important  healing  agent then just  as  it still is to the modern Egyptian and to most of the peoples in  the  Mediterranean area:  Fresh  cloves are  peeled, mashed  and macerated  in  a mixture  of  vinegar and water. This can be used to gargle and rinse the mouth, or taken  internally to  treat  sore throats  and  toothache. Another way to take garlic both for prevention as well as treatment is to macerate several cloves of mashed garlic in  olive  oil. Applied  as  an external  liniment  or taken internally it is beneficial for bronchial and lung complaints including  colds.


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