History of medicinal herbs, shrubs and trees

History of medicinal herbs, shrubs and trees

Image result for medicinal plants


  • Medicinal plants, also called medicinal herbs, have been discovered and used in traditional medicine practices since prehistoric times.

  • Plants synthesise hundreds of chemical compounds for functions including defense, pollination and protection.

    • Numerous phytochemicals with potential or established biological activity have been identified.

          1. The earliest historical records of herbs are found from the Sumerian civilization, where hundreds of medicinal plants including opium are listed on clay tablets.
          1. The Ebers Papyrus from ancient Egypt describes over 850 plant medicines, while Dioscorides documented over 1000 recipes for medicines using over 600 medicinal plants in De materia medica, forming the basis of pharmacopoeias for some 1500 years.

          2. assyrian tablet.jpg
          3. Sumerian clay tablet on Opium.

          4. History

          5. Prehistoric times

            • Angiosperms (flowering plants) were the original source of most plant medicines

            •  Plant samples from prehistoric burial sites are among the lines of evidence that Paleolithic peoples had knowledge of herbal medicine. 


              Ancient times

              • From ancient times to the present, Ayurvedic medicine as documented in the Atharva Veda, the Rig Veda and the Sushruta Samhita has used hundreds of pharmacologically active herbs and spices such as turmeric, which contains curcumin.

              • In ancient Sumeria, hundreds of medicinal plants including myrrh and opium are listed on clay tablets

              • In the first century AD, the Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides documented over 1000 recipes for medicines using over 600 medicinal plants in De materia medica.

                Middle Ages

                • Herbalism flourished in the Islamic world, particularly in Baghdad and in Al-Andalus.

                • In the Early Middle Ages, Benedictine monasteries preserved medical knowledge in Europe, translating and copying classical texts and maintaining herb gardens.

                Early Modern

                • The Early Modern period saw the flourishing of illustrated herbals across Europe

                • Medicinal herbs arriving in the Americas included garlic, ginger, and turmeric