To begin with Hippocrates (468-377BC) the farther of medicine. Noteworthy,herbal medicine is the medicine of the ancestors and thus the oldest form of medicine ever practiced by mankind and it existed long before Hippocrates. Proven by many instances like the discovery of Neanderthal man’s grave in a cave in Iraq, who was buried with flower pollen scattered in the soil surrounded with clusters of flowers which was presumed to be his summer meals. And 60, 000 years after his death the plants were analyzed and were found to be coming from eight different species of flowering plants , they included Althea officinalis (Marshmallow) among others.
Marshmallow which is still in use today, the roots have a soothing effect on the irritated throat (Griggs) My assumption that it existed long before any writen records . But is noteworthy because, he is considered the founder of medicine based on rational science by rejecting superstition, he changed medicine from magic, vision, intuition to experimental. He promoted data and conducted experiments that showed that disease was a natural process and the chief role of the physician was to aid natural resistance of the body to overcome the metabolic imbalance and restore health and harmony to the organism.
Other Notable Figures Though Out History
Between 50 and 70 AD Pedanius Dioscorides, wrote the De Material Medica which provided a prototype herbal and pharmacopeia (prototype herbal and Pharmacopeia) He is said to have intended to establish a solid foundation on which future experience and experiment could build.
Theophrastus, the father of Botany he was known for accurate observation of medicinal plants.
Galen (131-200 AD) Clinical medicine was based on observation and experience. The resulting tightly integrated and comprehensive system , offering a complete medical philosophy dominated medicine thought the middle ages and until the beginning of the modern era .He also promoted humoral therapy , for more than 5000 years ,This theory states that illness is caused by an imbalance of humors and is treated with simples composites and entities .His writing led to the dip divide between traditional healers and conventional ( or modern day physicians )In my opinion he is to blame for the direction taken by medicine because he favored elaborate , costly medicines with complex compounds and following Galen, Doctors came to feel that the more elaborate and complex a remedy and the more ingredients piled into it, the better it was bound to be.
Ar Razi (869-925AD). He has two major works, Kitab al Mansur, which he composed for the Rayy ruler Mansur ibn Iraq and Kitab al hawi the comprehensive book in which he surveyed Greek, Syrian, early Arabic medicine as well as some Indian medical knowledge.
Ib said (Avicenna) 980-1037AD.He is said to have intersected Galen and Aristotle .He wrote the medieval text book of Galenic medicine the Qanun (the canon )as well as the central medieval statement of Aristotelian biology .
St Benedict (480AD-550).He wrote rules of the Benedict order. He is the founder of western monasticism.
Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). She was a visionary , a gentle revolutionists who excelled as abbess , visionary, scientist , physician , prophet , theologian , author and composer She demonstrated the importance of women’s contribution to the intellectual life of the middle ages
Dame tota also known as Trotulla of Salerno (1090-1200)Italian physician who worked in the 11th or 12th century in Salerno, Italy . He wrote three major medical treatise: Diseases of women, treatments for women, and women’s cosmetics. In medieval Europe, these texts were a major source for information on women’s health. Also one of the seven Salerno physicians who contributed to an encyclopedia of medical knowledge, on the treatment of illnesses
Albertus Magnus 1193-1280) also known as Saint Albert of Cologne was a Dominican. He is damous for his comprehensive knowledge and advocacy for the peaceful coexistence of science and religion. In the Catholic Church he is honored as the Doctor of the church
Thomas Aquinas (1201-1274) Summa Theologica originally written for the instruction for beginners, “time has shown that all believers can come to learn from enriching book”
Paracelsus (1493) (The revolutionist ).He promoted the concept of disease is a chemical abnormality treated with chemicals .An alchemist by trade, rejected occultism and pioneered use of chemicals and minerals in medicine, banned books of Avicenna, Galen and Hippocrates .His surgery is mostly that of based on that of Celsus , Paul of Aegina and Abulcasis.
Henry V111(1493-1541) was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death he is said to have his own royal set of apothecary equipment which he carried with him whenever he went for travels. He is said to have found plasters and ointments fascinating.
Lady Anne Clifford (1589 -1676) she was a patron of literature and due to her own writings in form of letters and the diary she kept from 1603 to 1616. She erected the countless pillar near Brougham, Cambria, she did a lot of alchemical experiments.
Gui Patin (1602-1672) the showdown in Paris .Guy Patin was French doctor and man of letters. Guy Patin was dean of the Faculty of medicine in Paris and Professor in the college de France starting in 1655.
Nicholas Culpeper (1616 -1654) translated the London pharmacopeia to Latin into English physicians an act of heresy to his class and all of English physicians.
William withering (1741-1799) Isolated digitalis from fox glove.
In comparison to African traditional medicine , Western herbal medicine has this admirable renaissance which has given birth to such a respectable field and provided a platform for different practitioners to play fairly with organisations like the American herbalist guild , one can only but imagine what the future of Western herbalism will be .
ALFALFA – Heart disease, stroke, cancer, bad breath
ALOE:Externally – burns, wounds, inflammation. Internally – diabetes, constipation, blood sugar
ANGELICA (Dong Quai) – Menopause, respiratory problems, digestion, arthritis
APPLE – Constipation, diarrhea, cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes
ARNICA:Externally – Pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, acne, insect bites. Not for internal use.
ASTRAGALUS:Internally – Cancer, tonic, colds & flu, antiviral, antibacterial
BEARBERRY (Uva-ursi) – Urinary tract infections
BILBERRY:Internally – Serious eye conditions, opening arteries, throat inflammations, diarrhea, bruises
BLACKBERRY – Eye problems, diarrhea, hemorrhoids
BLACK COHOSH:Internally – PMS, menopause, mentrual aches
BLACK HAW – Menstrual cramps, fever, pains
BLUE COHOSH – Labor initiation
BONESET – Colds, flu
BUCHU – PMS, diuretic
BUCKTHORN – Constipation
BURDOCK:Detoxification, water retention
CALENDULA:Burns, sore throat, oral infections, wounds
CARAWAY – Digestion
CATNIP – Digestion, anxiety, infections, female issues
CAT’S CLAW:Arthritis, herpes, allergies, immune systems, cancer, anti-viral
CAYENNE:Externally – Arthritis, healed infections, shingles. Internally – Nutrition, antioxidant
CELERY – Gout, hypertension
CHAMOMILE:Wounds, indigestion, nausea, insomnia, anxiety
CHAPARRAL – Tooth decay, gum disease, arthritis
CHASTE TREE – PMS, menstrual problems
CINNAMON – Hypertension, antiseptic, digestion
CLOVE – Mouthwash, toothache
COCOA – Antioxidant, fatigue, depression
COFFEE – Fatigue, colds, flu, asthma
COMFREY – Wounds
CRANBERRY – Nutrition, Urinary tract infections
DILL – Stomach soother, UTI
DANDELION releases bile & water, eases indigestion & rheumatism. Click for much more on the benefits of dandelion.
DONG QUAI – Menstrual cramps, PMS, liver tonic
ECHINACEA – A great immune system booster
ELDERBERRY – Prevent, treat cold & bronchitis
ELECAMPINE – Asthma, emphysema, tuberculosis, antibacterial
EPHEDRA – Respiratory problems, obesity
EUCALYPTUS – Colds, flu
FAINTING: Broomweed, cardamom, coffee, ephedrine, eucalyptus, rosemary
FATIGUE: Astragalus, Ginseng
FEMALE FERTILITY: Info on female fertility herbs
FEVER: Bayberry, Meadowsweet, White willow
FIBROIDS: Burdock, Milk thistle
FIBROMYALGIA: Apply Cayenne. Ingest Devil’s claw, Ginkgo, St. John’s wort, Willow. Click for a complete discussion on fibromyalgia herbs.
FLATULENCE: Chamomile, fennel, Ginger, Peppermint
FOOD POISONING PREVENTION, TREATMENT: Angelica, sage, Cinnamon, Thyme, Garlic
FUNGAL SKIN INFECTIONS: Apply Arnica, Garlic, Tea tree oil. Ingest Garlic
GALLSTONES: Artichoke, coffee, dandelion, turmeric, peppermint oil, milk thistleGAS: Dill
GENITAL WARTS: St. John’s wort, garlic, licorice
GIARDIASIS: Goldenseal, barberry
GINGIVITIS: Bloodroot, camomile, Echinacea, licorice, purslane, sage
GLAUCOMA: Bilberry, ginkgo, blackberry, cranberry, raspberry
GOUT: Celery, nettle, boswellia, celery seed, devil’s claw, turmeric. Click for much more on the best herbs for gout.
GRAVE’S DISEASE (Hyperthyroidism): Bugleweed, lemon balm, self-heal, kelp, verbena. Click for much more on herbal remedies for hyperthyroidism.
GUM DISEASE: Internal – Goldenseal, myrrh. External – Aloe, calendula
HAIR LOSS/PROBLEMS: Click here for more
HALITOSIS (bad breath): Click for helpful info on herbal remedies for bad breath
HANGOVER: Ginkgo, dandelion, willow. Click for our full page on home remedies for hangovers
HASHIMOTO’S THYROIDITIS: Click for our very informative page on herbs for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
HAY FEVER: Nettle, parsley, garlic, licorice, peppermint oil
HEADACHES: Cayenne, feverfew, ginger, meadowsweet, peppermint, white willow. For a great discussion on headaches & more herbal remedies for headaches CLICK HERE.
HEARING LOSS: Ginkgo
HEART DISEASE: Alfalfa, evening primrose, garlic, ginger, gonkgo, hawthorn, green tea, motherwort, onion. For more great info on heart disease & a complete list of herbs for heart health, click here.
HEARTBURN: Aloe, licorice root, cabbage juice
HEMORRHOIDS: External-witch hazel, horse chestnut, slippery elm, mullein; Internal-horse chestnut, butcher’s broom. Click for complete info on herbal remedies for hemorrhoids
HEPATITIS: Licorice, milk thistle
HERPES: External-lemon balm, licorice, St John’s wort, comfrey, peppermint; Internal-echinacea, garlic, ginseng, lemon balm, licorice. Click for our page on herbal remedies for herpes
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: Garlic, hawthorn, dandelion, ginger, turmeric, valerian. For more helpful info on herbs for hypertension click here. Click for best specific herbs for high blood pressure. Click for best all natural foods for HBP.
HIV Infection (AIDS): Licorice, oregano, St. John’s-wort, aloe, astragalus
HIVES: Internal- chamomile, licorice, stinging nettle. External- Aloe, chamomile, nettle, parsley, yarrow
HYPERTHYROIDISM: Click for much more on herbal remedies for hyperthyroidism.
HYPOTHYROIDISM: Internal- Variety of bitters, bladderwack, myrhh (extrernal too) Click for our complete page on herbs for hypothyroidism.
IMPOTENCE: Ginkgo, ginsengINDIGESTION: Chamomile, ginger, licorice, peppermint
INFERTILITY(female): Click 4 best female fertility herbs
INFERTILITY(male): Click 4 best male fertility herbs
INFLAMMATION: Click for more on top anti-inflammatory herbs.
INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD): Onion, tea
INFLUENZA: Elder, licorice root
INSECT BITES & STINGS: Internal – Aloe, echinacea, plaintain, tea, witch hazel
INSOMNIA: Kava-kava, chamomile, valerian, passionflower, hop, yarrow. Click for our complete page on herbal remedies for insomnia
INTERMITTENT CLAUDICATION: Garlic, ginger, ginkgo, hawthorn
INTESTINAL PARASITES: Epazote, garlic, ginger
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Herbal remedies for IBS
KIDNEYS: Home remedies for kidney // Herbal kidney remedies, Pg2 // Home remedies for kidney stones, Pg1 // Herbal remedies for kidney stones, Pg2 // Herbs for kidney stones, Pg3 // Home remedies for kidney infection
LARYNGITIS: Cardamom, ginger, horehound, mallow, mullein
LEAD POISONING: Apple, garlic
LEPROSY: Garlic, Gotu kola
LIVER DISEASE: Licorice, green tea, dandelion, artichoke, turmeric, peppers
LYME DISEASE: Bupleurum, Echinacea, garlic, licorice
MACULAR DEGENERATION: Bilberry, ginkgo
MALE FERTILITY: Click 4 best male fertility herbs
MASTITIS: Aloe, CALENDULA, ECHINACEA, FENUGREEK, MARSHMALLOW ROOT, NETTLE
MEMORY PROBLEMS: Ginkgo, Siberian ginseng, water hyssop
MENOPAUSE: Black cohosh, dang gui, St.-John’s-wort. Click for much more on herbal remedies for menopause.
MENSTRUAL PROBLEMS: Black cohosh, cramp bark, black haw, feverfew, vitex, yarrow
MESOTHELIOMA: Click for mesothelioma facts & herbal remedies.
MIGRAINE: Feverfew. Click for much more on herbal remedies for migraines.
MORNING SICKNESS: Chamomile, ginger, peppermint
MOTION SICKNESS: Fennel, ginger, peppermint
MOUTH SORES: Blackberry
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: Black currant, evening primrose, flaxseed, ginkgo, purslane
MUSHROOM POISONING: Milk thistle
NAUSEA: Catnip, chamomile, ginger, lemon balm, peppermint
NERVE PAIN: Corydalis, Jamaican dogwood, St.-John’s-wort, cayenne
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD): Bergamot oil, California poppy, kava-kava, St.-John’s-wort, valerian
OSTEOPOROSIS: Click for best herbs for osteoporosis
PAIN: Meadowsweet, passionflower, red pepper (one of the home remedies that works for many conditions), white willow, clove. Click for more on herbal pain remedies
PARASITES: agrimony, barberry, Echinacea, garlic
PARKINSON’S DISEASE: Fava bean, velvet bean, ginkgo, grapeseed, evening primrose
PINKEYE AND STIES: (also termed conjunctivitis), Barberry, eyebright, yarrow, mullein. Click4More on home remedies for conjuctivitis (Pink eye)
PNEUMONIA: Astragalus, Baikal skullcap, dandelion, echinacea, goldenseal, garlic, mullein
POISON IVY, OAK, SUMAC: Aloe, jewelweed, plantain, soapwort, grindelia. Click for our page on best home remedies for poison ivy
PREGNANCY & DELIVERY: Click for top herbs for pregnancy
Also see our list of herbs to avoid during pregnancy
PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS): Black cohosh, dandelion, evening primrose, nettle, parsley, sarsaparilla, uva-ursi, chasteberry
RHEUMATOID ARHTRITIS: Click for best herbal remedies for rheumatoid arthritis
RINGWORM: pau d’arco, tea tree oil
SCIATICA: Hayseed, stinging nettle, willow, wintergreen
SEXUAL PROBLEMS – LIBIDO DIFFICULTIES
SHINGLES: Lemon balm, red pepper, licorice. Click for best herbal remedies for shingles.
SKIN PROBLEMS: Evening primrose, aloe
SMOKING ADDICTION: Licorice, red clover, coltsfoot, elecampane, mullein. Best herbs to quit smoking
SORES: Calendula, comfrey, dragon’s blood
SORE THROAT: Eucalyptus, honeysuckle, fenugreek, licorice, marshmallow, mullein, sage, slippery elm
SPORTS INJURIES/PAIN: Cayenne, ginger, kava-kava, turmeric, arnica, comfrey
STIES: Echinacea, goldenseal, potato, thyme
STRESS: catnip, celery, chamomile, ginseng, kava, motherwort, passionflower, yarrow, valerian. Click for more valuable info & herbs for stress relief
STROKE PREVENTION, TREATMENT: Bilberry, blackberry, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, turmeric, white willow, pigweed, hawthorn
SWELLING: Ginger, pineapple, turmeric
THYROID: Herbal thyroid remedies info page
THRUSH: click for best home remedies for thrush
TINNITUS (EAR RINGING): Ginkgo, (contact us for more info to this herbal remedy guide on tinnitus)
TONSILLITIS: Echinacea, garlic, honeysuckle, sage
TOOTH DECAY: Tea, bay, licorice. Best herbal medicine for pain needing root canal?
TUBERCULOSIS: Echinacea, forsythia, garlic, honeysuckle, licorice
USNEA: problems w/ lungs, intestines, throat, sinuses, urinary and reproductive tract., antibiotic, anti-fungal. One of the great Chinese medical herbs.
UVA URSI: urinary tract infections, cystitis (bladder inflammation), kidney stones
VALERIAN: insomnia, anxiety, muscle spasms, hbp
VERVAIN: pain, inflammation, constipation
VITEX: PMS & other female conditions
WILLOW BARK: fever, pain, inflammation, heart problems, stroke, women’s issues. Commonly used by consumers who use herbs as medicines instead of OTCs.
WITCH HAZEL: hemorrhoids, skin problems, sunburn
YARROW: urinary infections, high blood pressure, women’s issues, heart problems, wounds, diarrhea, stress, anxiety, digestion. Click for more on the wondrous yarrow herb
YELLOW DOCK: digestion skin conditions, constipation, liver detox
Zee, Barbara Van der. Green pharmacy: the history and evolution of Western herbal medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1991. Print.
Reeds, Karen. “Herbs and Herbalism in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and: Pristina Medicamenta: Ancient and Medieval Medical Botany (review).” Bulletin of the History of Medicine75.3 (2001): 560-62. Web.
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