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Herbal Medicine

How the ancient Egyptians used medical plants



Of all the ancient civilizations, the Egyptian one was definitely the first of which we have a good knowledge of how they used herbs and plants for medicinal reasons. Sure, everything we know is a bit vague, but we have some ideas.

The first Egyptian physician we know was called Imhotep and worked for the pharaohs of the third dynasty, around 3000 years BC. We also know about him that he was an astrologer and had the ability to cure many diseases.

Obviously our knowledge is partly based on legends, anyone who was able to cure diseases was considered a magician and therefore seen as if an almost divine character, a magician and for his healing powers. But in general in Egyptian civilization, medicine and religion went hand in hand. So it wasn’t just the medicines that healed but the gods through medicines.

The concept of active ingredients, chemistry and pharmacology are modern concepts that were not found in Egyptian medicine. Another aspect of Egyptian culture that developed knowledge of the properties of herbs and plants was mummification. In fact, many substances that we use even now were used to mummify and perfume.

The interesting thing is the use of certain plants or natural remedies such as frankincense or myrrh (which would be the resins of plants and therefore require a little processing) which are still used today. They certainly used different essential oils such as peppermint, camphor and others that we also use.

Frescos have been found in Egyptian times showing the production and use of essential oils. Of course, even in this case everything was very much linked to religion.

Another thing we know for sure because papyri have been found, such as Ebers’s, which list the medicines that were recommended to a patient, were basically the ancestors of our medical prescriptions. Obviously not all medicines were plants, the Egyptians also used minerals as medicine but the majority were undoubtedly of vegetable origin.

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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Herbal Medicine

Rosemary oil and memory; does it really help?



Traditionally rosemary is said to be good for boosting memory, so many recommend smelling rosemary when studying.

In recent years the news has been circulating on the internet that even rosemary increases memory by 75% but can we really believe it?

Essential oils and plants have some benefits in many cases and when used judiciously but we should not blindly believe in all the potential miracle cures. For example, essential oils can be helpful and many use them to relieve the symptoms of chemotherapy, but we will never advise anyone to use essential oils or herbs to treat a malignant tumor or heart problem.

Let’s go back to memory… recently the site, a site that has been trying to understand for years whether certain news is true or false, has tried to dispel the myth of rosemary and memory. The article is long  but in a nutshell it tells us that the news came from the newspaper The Daily Mail, not particularly famous for the accuracy of the scientific news it publishes.

The original article was about a study that proved that rosemary increases memory by 75%. The study was really done but it tried to prove if a particular chemical component of rosemary oil increased memory.

In any case, there is no evidence that it is rosemary oil, a chemical component of it or simply the fact that the aromas can remind us of things related to the smell itself. In short, we have no conclusive evidence that rosemary oil does not improve memory but certainly there is no evidence that it improves it and we can certainly discard the hypothesis that it increases it by 75%.

If you think that smelling rosemary oil helps you to study, go ahead and do it, but don’t take everything you read on the internet at face value. Often it isn’t true.

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Herbal Medicine

Lemon essential oil for internal use, is it okay to swallow it?



Many ask if lemon essential oil can be used internally and if it is toxic. There are those on the net who recommend recipes that include essential oils and say that an essential oil of any kind can be safely ingested if of good quality. Unfortunately, there are several problems with this statement.

First of all essential oils are not regulated, so the quality depends a lot from producer to producer and there is no body that controls the quality and eliminates from the market the oils that do not reach the minimum level. The market is totally unregulated and there are always risks as essential oils are meant for external use only.

Lemon essential oil internal use = not a good idea

Even the best essential oils have never passed the tests and certifications to be approved as food. For the production of essential oils, solvents can be used or machinery could be contaminated. There are no laws that oblige manufacturers to follow the rules of hygiene and safety and therefore do not be surprised if they do not have suitable products and systems. Even when they say that an essential oil is 100% pure, they always think about external use.

In short, don’t listen to anyone who tells you that lemon essential oil for internal use is fine, it is not something to recommend. Furthermore, essential oils are very strong, they are very concentrated, ingesting an essential oil should only be done if checked by an expert and not taken  at home without proper knowledge.

In any case, if you want certain benefits of lemon essential oil, just eat a normal lemon including the peel. There are no reasons to ingest this product, you will have no particular benefit from ingesting it. Be careful to use it before going out in the sun, in fact it is a photosensitive product, it makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

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Herbal Medicine

Properties of burdock; what this plant is for and how to use it




Burdock (Arctium Lappa) is commonly found in the UK, especially in hedges and on roadsides and paths and anywhere where it can grow undisturbed. A plant known for centuries for its medicinal properties, especially for its diuretic properties.

It is also said to be good for the blood. It is also used for skin problems and to promote sweating. Burdock contains many minerals including iron and substances such as lignin and inulin. It also contains small doses of caffeine.

properties of burdock

What are the other properties of burdock?

It is a good blood purifier and is used for arthritic rheumatism, sciatica and lumbago. The seeds and leaves are a powerful purifier and are used to treat skin ailments. Burdock is used to promote kidney functions and helps these organs filter the blood, eliminating harmful acids.

In general, crushed seeds are used from which an infusion is made, while the roots are used to make a very strong decoction. The decoction can be used for internal or external use. A table spoon of roots and a cup of water are enough to make a decoction.

You can drink it once a day, not during meals to see some benefit. Once cooled, you can use this lotion on the skin, especially in cases of acne and oily skin in general. When taken internally, this substance is eliminated by the sweat glands, thus removing toxic waste and promoting sweating. Burdock seeds are then used to eliminate fever and heat conditions boils, ulcers and infections. To induce sweating, first drink a cup of burdock seed tea.

There is also a Chinese version of burdock which is supposed to be an aphrodisiac, not all properties of burdock are the same.

Warnings Do not take burdock by mouth if you have type II diabetes and are taking medicines to control blood glucose.

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