Even in medicine. We are placing an article here that we wrote for our sister site today as it has a lot of important information for those who suffer from different diseases.
You will have to go to our sister site for the links to the different resources we used as their URLs did not make the transfer. What got us started on researching this topic was the fact that we offered some helpful words to BG and he decided to respond in a very negative way
Part of his comment was:
I’m well versed on the medical claims made by naturalists. I read several science-based medicine sites operated by medical doctors and scientists. Again, I trust the science. I generally think “natural” treatments are a waste of time, lacking imperial evidence for their claims.
We are not naturalists, vegans, or even vegetarians but have suffered from our share of ailments. We simply offered a suggestion that helped us then told him to talk to his doctors about what he could do.
In that comment, he says he trusts the science, but science gets things wrong, and most likely unknown to him, science does use imperial evidence when using different parts of plants for modern medicines.
We are not talking about using natural remedies but the medicinal properties God gave to everyone to help them in their time of sickness. But unbelievers tend to be closed-minded and rob themselves of seeing how God cares for them and his followers.
We looked even further into this topic last night and there is a myriad of websites talking about plants and their medicinal value. It is not that we are vegetarians, vegans, or some organic promoting website, we are far from all three.
However, we do recognize the medicinal value found in plants and spices. These plants, etc., tell us that God does care for our well-being and has provided the medicines we need to stay healthy.
These plants have been used throughout history:
Ever since ancient times, in search for rescue for their disease, the people looked for drugs in nature. The beginnings of the medicinal plants’ use were instinctive, as is the case with animals. In view of the fact that at the time there was not sufficient information either concerning the reasons for the illnesses or concerning which plant and how it could be utilized as a cure, everything was based on experience.
In time, the reasons for the usage of specific medicinal plants for treatment of certain diseases were being discovered; thus, the medicinal plants’ usage gradually abandoned the empiric framework and became founded on explicatory facts. Until the advent of iatrochemistry in 16th century, plants had been the source of treatment and prophylaxis. Nonetheless, the decreasing efficacy of synthetic drugs and the increasing contraindications of their usage make the usage of natural drugs topical again. (source)
We do doubt that early man went by instinct but actually used their brains like modern scientists do to find these herbs and plants. The tricky part would be finding out which plants were poisonous and which ones were not.
There are flowers, shrubs, and trees that can be quite harmful to humans and animals. So it would take great care to identify all plants and learn the difference.
Also, trial and error is something that is used today in many cases when looking to see how valuable a pill or tablet will be, just like it was in ancient times. Things do not change as much as people think.
This website provides a nice history of how the ancients found out which plants were good for treating diseases, we may not and do not agree with all of their content.
The wealth of information on ancient medicine clearly demolishes any theories that ancient doctors were only witch doctors who said chants and did a lot of hocus pocus.
We do not know how many plants the ancients classified as medicinal, the modern list has about 28,000+
This year’s report states that 28,187 plant species are being used medicinally, mostly in the non-industrialized world. Since the dawn of humankind, plants have been used in this way and it’s only recently that pharmaceuticals have supplanted their use to treat human ailments. It may surprise you to learn that 25% of modern medicines are actually derived from plants or at least copy plant chemistry. (1)
For example, anti-cancer drugs vincristine and vinblastine are derived from Madagascar periwinkle, the blood thinner warfarin is derived from sweet clover, an Aspirin came from willow bark. Since 1981, 1,130 new pharmaceuticals have been approved for therapeutic use and 38 of those are from medicinal plants (over half of the 1,130 are based on natural compounds). (source)
The fact is that we do not know as much as we think we do as more and more plants are being identified for different purposes each year:
Of all known plant species, 80% of the food we eat comes from only 17 plant families (of 416 classified). Each year, an average of 2,000 new plant species is identified (puts into perspective how little we already know). (2) Twelve of the largest plant families represent a significantly higher proportion of medicinal plants. This global plant database is called MPNS (Medicinal Plant Names Services). (Ibid)
We can learn a lot from archaeology but the translation of ancient documents is slow going and there are not enough people who know these languages or have the time to work on translation.
That means that we are losing a lot of information that may help our sick and wounded today. Part of the information that is lost is the value of different plants or their hidden dangers:
The following is just a little bit of what we know:
The oldest written evidence of medicinal plants’ usage for preparation of drugs has been found on a Sumerian clay slab from Nagpur, approximately 5000 years old. It comprised 12 recipes for drug preparation referring to over 250 various plants, some of them alkaloid such as poppy, henbane, and mandrake.
The Chinese book on roots and grasses “Pen T’Sao,” written by Emperor Shen Nung circa 2500 BC, treats 365 drugs (dried parts of medicinal plants), many of which are used even nowadays such as the following: Rhei rhisoma, camphor, Theae folium, Podophyllum, the great yellow gentian, ginseng, jimson weed, cinnamon bark, and ephedra.[3,4]
The Indian holy books Vedas mention treatment with plants, which are abundant in that country. Numerous spice plants used even today originate from India: nutmeg, pepper, clove, etc.
The Ebers Papyrus, written circa 1550 BC, represents a collection of 800 proscriptions referring to 700 plant species and drugs used for therapy such as pomegranate, castor oil plant, aloe, senna, garlic, onion, fig, willow, coriander, juniper, common centaury, etc.[6,7]
According to data from the Bible and the holy Jewish book the Talmud, during various rituals accompanying a treatment, aromatic plants were utilized such as myrtle and incense. (Source)
That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to listing different ancient sources who wrote on the medicinal value of plants. It is also something that should be thoroughly read.
This article, The role of plants in drugs and medicines, has a lot of interesting information and makes some good points. While there is room for modern medicine, we cannot dismiss the effect of certain plants, herbs, and spices. here is just an excerpt:
The root of this species of clematis – Clematis mandshurica ruprecht (CRE) – is often used in Asia as a CAM, to treat inflammation.
There is published evidence that CRE has anti-inflammatory effects. One 2017 research study in rats reported CRE resulted in lower levels of proinflammatory mediators. These included cytokines – cell-signalling molecules – such as tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, nitric oxide (NO), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
The study investigators also noted clinical benefits including less tissue oedema (swelling), reduced skin thickness, and reduced infiltration of the local area by inflammatory cells. Research is now required to substantiate this in humans.
Dahlia root is a good source of inulin, a type of soluble fibre, which can be used to help constipation, aid weight loss, and improve blood sugars in diabetics.
Rosemary, parsley, basil, and thyme
Many herbs and spices are well known to anti-inflammatory, antitumour, and anticarcinogenic properties, as well as having positive effects to lower lipids and support blood glucose metabolism. Other specific examples are cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, chilli peppers and garlic.
Then this article, Plant Parts Used for Medicinal Purposes, while written for modern people and thinking of modern processes, talks about where the medicinal properties come from and where our ancient ancestors derived their medicines:
Medicinal properties derived from plants can come from many different parts of a plant including leaves, roots, bark, fruit, seeds, flowers. The different parts of plants can contain different active ingredients within one plant. Thus, one part of the plant could be toxic while another portion of the same plant could be harmless.
The article then goes on to list all the locations of the plant where ancient and modern scientists get their medicines. Plants have value as the following scientific report states:
According to Newman and Cragg 2012, the utility of natural products as sources of novel structures is still alive and well. Up to 50% the approved drugs during the last 30 years are from either directly or indirectly from natural products and in the area of cancer, over the time frame from around the 1940s to date, of the 175 small molecules 85 actually being either natural products or directly derived there from. (source)
All in all, we can learn a lot from ancient writers who have taken the time to investigate and record all the needed information about medicinal plants. These books and websites are worth reading as they provide very helpful information for the ailment that plague our families today.
When we say books, we are alluding to some that we have read over the years but do not have the titles handy at the moment. This type of information is not limited to just medicines.
We have come across different pieces of information about techniques the ancient farmers used to grow more crops in limited areas. When used right, archaeology and history can provide legitimate information that is practical for today and should be put into practice.