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Old 09-13-2010, 09:57 AM   #1
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Default Ship full of 2000 year old medicines found

Interesting read. The ship sank in 130 BC and many of the medicines are still intact and dry. DNA analysis reveals complex formulations and extracts.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/...shipwreck.html

As I looked through the lists they mentioned I noted that many of these foods used as medicine are still used by herbalists. Perhaps Hippocrates and Galen were more on top of the science than we tend to believe.

"Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food" Hippocrates
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:01 AM   #2
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That's really neat!
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:41 AM   #3
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Wow - the only thing that would have topped that off would have been finding indications for use. Nevertheless, aluable information & insight into old medicines.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:29 PM   #4
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There was some impressive emphasis on knowledge even at that time. Even though he came along a couple of hundred years after this ship went down, I believe his life was a testiment to the thinking during that time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:39 PM   #5
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http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ehpa/herbal_med.htm

Herbal medicine is among the most ancient forms of treatment known and the medicinal use of plants is common to all cultures and peoples of the world. The Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, dating back to 1500 BCE, describes more than 700 herbal remedies including aloes, caraway seeds, castor oil and squill. A medical manuscript, Wu Shi Er Ming Fang, dating from 2nd century BCE listing some 224 herbal medicines was discovered in 1973 in a tomb at Ma Huang Dui in Hunan Province, China. The Atharva Veda dating from about 1200 BCE is recognised as a major source book laying down the precepts of Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine from India. There was significant exchange of herbal knowledge in the ancient world. Hippocrates, "the father of medicine", was tutored by Egyptian priest doctors. Dioscorides, a Greek doctor attached to the Roman armies of Claudius and Nero, compiled ancient and contemporary herbal knowledge in his famous herbal De Materia Medica that for more than thirteen centuries remained one of the principle medical textbooks throughout the civilised world. The Greek herbal achieved its final form in the work of Claudius Galen who was physician to the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius.



(note: I could find no reference to copyright restrictions at this site)
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:42 PM   #6
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My biggest interest is the sunflower. If it's not contamination, there's going to be something of interest. Either they were growing over there, which they're not believed to have been, or there was some travel AND return to North America back then.
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:50 PM   #7
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Arrow

This is a great find! It will be fascinating to see what herbal compounds were used at the time. I predict that drug company researchers will be interested in these formulas as well.
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