10 secrets of ancient medicine that modern scientists rely on
For thousands of years, people have accumulated experience and knowledge for the treatment of various diseases. Modern medicine tries, using and developing ancient proven means and methods of treatment, to create new ones based on them. It is not always possible, but one way or another – ancient recipes are of special interest not only for pharmacists.
1. Anglo-Saxon eye balm
In 2015, scientists tested an Anglo-Saxon method for treating eye infections, known since the ninth century. They were amazed at the effectiveness of an ancient balsam containing onions, garlic, wine and cow bile on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It was found that the ancient balsam killed 90 percent of Staphylococcus cultures. Scientists believe that the antibiotic properties are most likely responsible not for any component, but for the entire mixture as a whole.
The composition of balsam, described in The ancient Balda medical center, may later become the key in the fight against bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Researchers believe that the Anglo-Saxons practiced something similar to the scientific method, with an emphasis on observations and experiments. Scientists were amazed that people studied infections in detail long before the discovery of microorganisms.
2. Pharmaceutical production 1300 years ago
During excavations in Turkey in 2013-2015, archaeologists found 700 small bottles, pestles, mortars and a large slab on a relatively small area. Perhaps this place was used for manufacturing medicines. Analysis of the remains from the bottles showed that they contain methanone and phenanthrene, which are, respectively, an antidepressant and a heart medication. Both were obtained from plants growing in these areas.
3. Therapeutic seeds of henbane
In 2015, during an excavation in the Turkish city of Kaman, archaeologists found evidence that henbane seeds have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. More than a hundred charred seeds were found in the old stove, and there were also remains of manure, probably fumigated. Located 100 kilometers South of Ankara, the city of Kaman survived the Bronze age, Iron age, and Ottoman occupation.
The seeds found belong to the Ottoman period between the 15th and 17th century. The Ottomans called henbane Bay and used to treat toothache, ear pain, eye irritation and other diseases. It is now known that it contains the poisonous atropine and scopolamine.
4. Ancient remedy for trichiasis
A 3,500-year-old Egyptian papyrus describing an ancient remedy for trichiasis was recently translated. The composition of the medicinal mixture includes: bovine fat, blood of a bat and a donkey, heart and excrement of a lizard, powder formed when working with clay, female breast milk and a little honey. Medicinal ingredients and their quantities are written in red ink, and methods of use-in black.
5. Amazing artemisinin
Since ancient times, the Chinese used wormwood tincture to treat malaria. Analyzing ancient recipes, chemist Tu Yuyu determined that the active substance in wormwood is the antibiotic artemisinin. And in 2015, for his method of treating malaria with artemisinin, he was awarded the Nobel prize. It is possible that this antibiotic will be effective against tuberculosis, because it can block the protective mechanism used by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
6. Ancient cure for a hangover
The unique thousand-year-old Arabic book Kitab al-tabih contains about 600 culinary and medicinal recipes. Of particular interest is the extremely effective hangover remedy described in it. After a night of libations to ease the condition, it is recommended to use cicciu, after drinking the water. Kiskeya is a meat stew with lentils and vegetables. And its mandatory component is ” kishk”, which is prepared on the basis of milk and fermented milk products-yogurt and whey.
7. Golden root
For many millennia, people have used this plant for medicinal purposes. The inhabitants of Siberia considered it a source of longevity, the Vikings – increasing endurance and strength, the Mongols-a cure for serious diseases, and in Central Asian countries, it is considered the best medicine for flu and colds.
According to recent research, Golden root is good at relieving depression and fatigue. Although its effectiveness is lower than that of conventional antidepressants, there are fewer side effects.
8. Bone meal from the skull of the martyrs
Italian researchers discovered the skull of a resident of the 15th century, which counted 16 smooth holes of different sizes and depths. It is assumed that the holes in the skull were drilled with a special tool for obtaining bone meal. It was believed that the powder from such flour, dissolved in water, can heal brain diseases such as paralysis and epilepsy.
Bone meal obtained from the cranial bones of saints or victims of violent death was especially valued. It is known that in 1480, after the Ottoman siege of Otranto, lasting 15 days, the inhabitants who survived were forcibly forced to convert to Islam, otherwise their heads were cut off. And the found skull belonged to just one of the residents of this city.
9. Papyri from the temple of Ramesseum
In 1991, Egyptian and French archaeologists at the Ramesseum necropolis discovered a series of papyri from the early 18th century BC that preserved invaluable medical knowledge from that time. They describe in detail the human anatomy, known diseases and treatment methods. Ramesseum was the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramses II.
Papyrus III describes volcanic dust, possibly from the island of Santorini, and how to treat burns with it. It also describes the medicinal properties of marijuana. Papyrus IV describes problems related to female anatomy, as well as the delivery process, newborn care, and ways to prevent pregnancy.
10. Amur cork tree
For thousands of years, the Chinese have used the bark of this tree to treat many diseases. And since 2014, there are prerequisites for this list of diseases to include such an insidious disease as pancreatic cancer. Drugs based on the bark of a cork tree can block the pathways of disease development and slow down the scarring process.
And this is very important for treatment, because the fibrous tissue that forms around the centers of virus reproduction prevents and even makes it impossible for drugs to enter the affected cells.