Medical technology has advanced in unthinkable quantities over the years as we as a human race become more and more intellectually brilliant.
And who would think that, considering this massive advancement, a large amount of remedies and medicines actually already exist and are growing everywhere around us, naturally on our planet? And those exact same plant-based remedies are still widely used and practiced across the globe today. The World Health Organisation actually estimated that around 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines during some stages of their primary health care.
Amazing, isn’t it?
But where did it originate? Where did it all begin?
Well, let me show you:
The First Recorded Usages
Archaeological evidence would suggest that the use of plants in medicine dates back – at least – to as far as the Palaeolithic period, approximately 60,000 years ago.
However, written evidence of the use of herbal remedies by the Sumerians goes back over 5 thousand years. The Sumerians created lists of plants for use in medicine. There are a few ancient cultures who documented their herbal remedies – lists of plants and their medicinal uses. Such books have been dubbed as herbals. An example of this is ancient Egypt. Herbs are also documented in Egyptian medical papyri, and shown in certain tomb drawings and on other, more rare occasions, found in jars that were used for medicine, which were discovered to contain traces of certain herbs.
Ancient Greece also had a key impact on herbal medicine practices and the earliest use that is known of Greek herbals were those of Theophrastus of Eresos – most of which never survived, but a few fragments of these works remain intact, from which scholars were able to discover that there is a huge amount of overlap when compared to the Egyptian herbals.
And from these early periods, herbal medicine has progressed and progressed. New plants and concoctions were unravelled and new remedies discovered. It has advanced so much so that it is still widely practiced across the globe today.
Many of today’s pharmaceuticals that are currently available to doctors and physicians worldwide, have an extensive history of use as herbal remedies, some of which include: opium, aspirin, quinine and digitalis. And another interesting fact: according to the World Health Organisation, as many as 25% of the modern drugs that are used in the United States nowadays, have been derived from plants. In fact, there are as many as 7,000 modern day pharmaceutical compounds, which are plant-based. This is a figure, which undeniably shows the importance of herbal medicine, even in such an advanced world such as ours today.
Plant-Based Medicine Is Still Crucial
So, as you can see, no matter how advanced we get as a human race, there will probably never be a time when plants aren’t extremely useful in medicine. I mean, why would there ever be a time where that would be the case? They’re both ready and convenient, they’re growing around us every day and they’re pretty much infinite. With constant availability coupled with the aforementioned statistics, I can’t imagine such a time ever coming. And if it does and we choose to ignore such a convenience, then that will prove just how docile humans can be.