Herbs In History

Man has had a long and loving relationship with herbs. Herbs have been used since prehistoric times. Don’t believe me? Next time you’re in France, check out the Lascaux cave paintings which depict herbs. Carbon dating traces those drawings back to between 13,000 and 25,000 B.C. Ancient Romans and Greeks crowned their leaders with dill and laurel. The Romans also used dill to purify the air. In the 5th century B.C., Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, listed approximately 400 herbs in common use. Around 65 A.D., Pedanius Dioscorides, a Greek physician serving with the Roman army, wrote “De Materia Medica,” in which he described the medicinal uses of many herbs. Even today, it is considered one of the most influential herbal books. In the Middle Ages, herbs were often used to help preserve meat as well as covering the rotting taste of meals that couldn’t be refrigerated. Herbs also helped mask the odors of people who bathed irregularly, if at all. This period was not favorable to the progress of herbs in medicine. In fact, the Catholic Church began burning herbalists, having associated them both with witchcraft and paganism. Many of the early settlers grew herbs for seasoning their food, … Continue reading Herbs In History