The Ebers Papyrus legacy...
A fascinating subject, very rich and of interest to many of you, today we are talking about nature and in particular about this science of natural remedies, these complex and curative preparations made from the active principles of plants, we are talking about herbs and an ancestral profession, that of herbalist.
This is a fascinating subject because it has long been linked to a holistic approach, which takes into account not only the physical aspects of a person but also his or her psychological and spiritual profile. Herbal medicine was practised more than 3500 years ago by the Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia, and it is in any case this civilisation that has left us the oldest heritage of this medical practice thanks to the discovery of clay tablets containing dozens of formulas and recipes made from 250 medicinal plants!
Ancient Egypt was also an extraordinary time for the science of herbal medicine, at the time of Pharaoh Amenhotep, 1500 years BC, more than 800 plants were listed in a 110 page papyrus, the Ebers Papyrus.
Another early herbal tradition that we have written record of is Ayurveda, a system of medicine from India and surrounding areas. The oral tradition of Ayurveda is at least 5,000 years old (Mukherjee et al., 2016), and several important ayurvedic texts were written down starting at around 400 BCE.
The Charaka Samhita, one of these ancient texts, mentions over 300 herbs (Reddy et al., 2007), many of which are still used in contemporary ayurvedic practice.
Legendary Chinese emperor Chi’en Nung is credited with writing the foundational materia medica of classical Chinese medicine, Pen Ts’ao Ching, which lists over 365 herbs, almost 5000 years ago...
There are in these thousands of plants beneficial molecules, active principles which have been known since the history of our world and which the science of herbalism has been able to preserve and always study today without ever ceasing to advance its knowledge and the power of plants to heal us and do us good.
Herbalism has a strictly practical purpose, of expertise and advice, the science which in a purely theoretical way studies the medicinal virtues of plants is herbology.
The principles of plants being sometimes really very active, it is therefore very strongly recommended to study the subject in a serious way before playing the apprentice herbalists, that's very good, it's a great subject and the best way to learn is to go to a real herbalist.
Once in this temple of active and benevolent nature, browse the spaces in search of a book, an elixir of youth or a beneficial oil for your future massages, a sachet of Melissa or Hawthorn , an organic soap or an essential oil to perfume the room, but don't go just anywhere.
There are a few addresses in Brussels, the emblematic Herboristerie Desmecht is almost no longer to be presented, herbalists for 3 generations, the Desmecht house dates from 1840!
With Hugo, then Ellen and Niels Desmecht, all passionate, experts and graduates in herbalism, aromatherapy and nutritherapy, there is no doubt that by writing your own history of herbalism with this family you will also end up an expert in medicinal plants and other treasures of nature.
There is also some other very clever spots to increase your herbalism knowledge and find these gifts from nature...
Our curated herbalist spots list in Brussels >
/ Desmecht Herboristerie
Place Ste-Catherine, 10
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