Monthly Archives: July 2016

Monasteries and Liqueurs

After the fall of Rome, European medicine was dominated by the Catholic Church, which adopted the pre-Hippocratic Greek belief that illness was a punishment from God and was treatable only by prayer and penance. But Catholic monks preserved Greco-Roman herbalism by copying the ancient texts. Among the monastic orders, the Benedictines were the most avid herbalists. They were the first

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Imhotep and the “Stinking Ones” of the Nile

In 1874, in the Valley of the Tombs near Luxor, the German Egyptologist Georg Ebers discovered the world’s oldest surviving medical text, a 65-foot papyrus dating from shortly after the time of Joseph, around 1500 B.C. The Ebers Papyrus listed 876 herbal formulas from more than 500 plants, including aloe, caraway, cardamom, castor, chamomile, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, gentian, ginger, juniper,

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