Babylonian Medicine

Freie Universität Berlin

An Affair of Herbal Medicine? The ‘Special’ Kitchen in the Royal Palace of Ebla

By Agnese Vacca, Luca Peyronel, and Claudia Wachter-Sarkady

In antiquity, like today, humans needed a wide range of medicines, but until recently there has been little direct archaeological evidence for producing medicines. That evidence, however, also suggests that Near Eastern palaces may have been in the pharmaceutical business.

Most of the medical treatments documented in Ancient Near Eastern cuneiform texts dating to the 3rd-1st millennium BCE consisted of herbal remedies, but correlating ancient names with plant species remains very difficult. Medical texts describe ingredients and recipes to treat specific symptoms and to produce desired effects, such as emetics, purgatives, and expectorants. Plants were cooked, dried or crushed and mixed with carriers such as water, wine, beer, honey or milk —also to make them tastier. Indeed, plants used in medicine were often toxic or unpalatable and were not consumed as food. For several plant species it appears difficult to ascertain whether they were used as pharmacological remedies, psychoactive substances, or both. For some specific diseases (such as impotence) both therapeutic and magical treatments are documented, and in most cases a clear distinction between the two cannot be made….

Please read further on the ASOR (American Schools of Oriental Research) blog:

Der Beitrag wurde am Saturday, den 11. November 2017 um 19:07 Uhr von Agnes Kloocke veröffentlicht und wurde unter Allgemein abgelegt. Sie können die Kommentare zu diesem Eintrag durch den RSS 2.0 Feed verfolgen. Kommentare und Pings sind derzeit nicht erlaubt.

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