If you were to peek inside the pack of an ancient medicine man, you would likely find scores of dried herbs and tinctures, many of which were carefully gathered from local forest areas. Although some common remedies were not effective (the age-old practice of “blood-letting,” for example), many of their natural herbs were very beneficial. Below are five ancient herbal remedies that have genuine curative effects.
Ginger root has long been used as both a spice and an herbal treatment, with recorded use going back to about 400 B.C. in South Asia. When modern scientists tested its effectiveness, it was found that ginger is a powerful remedy for many types of ailments:
- Digestive problems such as gas pain, diarrhea, and stomach cramps
- Nausea and vomiting, including morning sickness during pregnancy
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Menstrual pain
Oregano has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years, first recorded by Hippocrates as an antiseptic and stomach treatment. Current studies show that the ancient physician was correct. Oil extracted from oregano does serve as a powerful antiseptic, with both anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties. This herbal extract can also improve digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
The seeds of the fennel plant have been used for healing purposes as far back as the ancient Roman Empire, when Pliny the Elder attributed no less than 22 medicinal properties to the plant. Although it may not serve as a ward against witchcraft, as some medieval herbalists believed, fennel seed does have several verified curative benefits:
- Soothing and reducing crying of colicky infants
- Alleviating indigestion and gas
- Improving and regulating urinary and bowel functions
Long before there existed over-the-counter medications like Tums or Pepto-Bismol, the ancients turned to herbal bitters to soothe upset stomachs and other digestive ailments. You’ll find an infusion of traditional bitter herbs can still soothe your digestive tract, without any harsh, unnatural chemicals. Bitters improve digestion by stimulating fluid and enzyme production from the tongue, pancreas, duodenum, and liver.
In ancient times, cloves were extremely rare and valuable, and so were attributed with all sorts of medical benefits. Today, modern research has shown that the clove does prove effective against several diverse ailments, such as:
- Toothache and mouth pain. Cloves placed directly onto painful areas of the mouth act as a local anesthetic.
- Mild congestion in the chest and sinuses.
- Upset stomach and gas.
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