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Texts from Greece and Rome were translated into Arabic and studied by Islamic scholars. They developed and refined Hippocrate's theories and Islamic physicians began to use the regulation of diet, exercise and the prescription of medicinal herbs in the treatment of their patients. Arabs in the Baghdad region were the first in history to separate medicine from pharmacological science. The differentiation and separation of two scientific disciplines, medicine and pharmacy, began during the eighth century.

It is very important to note the fact that the first models of professional pharmacy were found among the Arab population. The first drug stores in the world were established in the Arab world Baghdad, The forms used in that period are still used in the therapy and some formulations of drugs can be found in pharmacopeas even today 1 , 2.

Experts in the pharmaceutical sciences undertook the extraction and preparation of remedies. Physicians were now responsible only for diagnosis of the diseases and follow-up with the treatments given. This marked a turning point in pharmaceutical science and helped it to develop into a complex field. Pharmacologists and ethnopharmacologists started to search for different ingredients and extracts to be used as remedies, and studied the chemical properties of materials used in disease management. For the first time, chemists such as Jaber Bin Hayan investigated methods to extract and purify different compounds such as alcohol, nitric acids, sulfuric acids and Royal acid which were used to dissolve gold 3 , 4.

Plant extracts were prepared and taken orally, applied externally, and administered by fumigation and vapor inhalation. The Egyptians were also credited with the early medicinal use of wine, castor oil, marijuana, opium, mints and beer made from barley and wheat 5.

In this review we will focus on the development and current status of herbal medicine in the Middle Eastern region and in particular on a region covering significant parts of the present-day Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan, used to be called Bilad el-Sham by the Arab rulers and scholars of that time 1 , 2.

Recent studies investigated the medical uses of natural substances in medieval and Ottoman al-Sham the Levant and revealed that there were medicinal substances in use as traditional compounds 6 — 8. The region under study served as the geographic origin of the majority of medical substances, only a minority of the materials was imported.

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In fact, the al-Sham region was an independent source of production and marketing of medicinal substances during the medieval and Ottoman period. Medicinal plants contain curative bioactive ingredients which have proven to be valuable as primary or supplemental therapies when carefully applied 9.

Until last century most medicines were derived directly from plants or animals. Many local remedies used throughout the Middle East region have never been properly explored, researched, evaluated or exploited, compared to, for example, Chinese medicine, which is further away from Europe in theory 10 , culture and practice.

Medicinal herbs are great resources for various pharmaceutical compounds and urgent measures are required to protect these plant species from their natural destruction and disappearance. Indeed, there is a real danger of indigenous Arab medicinal practices and knowledge disappearing altogether, further weakening traditional Arab culture and creating more insecurity, as well as forsaking a resource of inestimable economic and health care importance. Herbal remedies and alternative medicines are used throughout the world, and in the past herbs were the only original source of most drugs.

Ethnopharmacological research may represent a crucial step in the development of drugs from natural sources The physical characteristics of the herb, including size, shape, color, texture and taste have traditionally served as important criteria in their selection for therapeutic purposes. Seeds with kidney shape are used for treating kidney stones: Roots' shape similar to human body or fruits that resemble human testis are used traditionally for stimulating sexual desire or treating sexual weakness: The doctrine of signatures is reflected in some of the uses of certain herbs: For several herbs, the plant's common name in Arabic refers to its use.

6 Plants Native Americans Use To Cure Everything

This is the case for Glaucium oxylobum L. The exchange of people and culture between the Middle East, Europe and the Far East has brought with it exchange of information, so that a given herb is used similarly in all these areas: Several techniques are used by traditional herbalists to obtain the beneficial phytochemical components from the selected species.

The majority of botanically based remedies are consumed orally in the form of tea or other drink containing either diluted or concentrated chemical ingredients 12 , 13 , 15 , 17 , The tea is generally produced from the various parts of the herbs through infusion or as decoctions Heating a raw plant in a fluid medium not only aids the extraction and concentration of curative substances, it also acts to eliminate poisons and impurities prior to consumption 19 , Since there is no sharp dividing line separating food and drugs, it is not surprising that various edible plant parts have been used as sources of both nutrition and medicine in different cultures 9 , The seeds of Nigella sativa L.

The oil as well as the fruits of Olea europaea L. Some plant species are used for treating several types of pathological conditions: Phytochemical investigations have shown that this herb contains various compounds such as flavonoids, iridoids and crisiol Table 1 lists a number of plant species that have been used traditionally to treat diabetes in Arab communities. Other methods include the inhalation of aerosols e.

In making a poultice, for example, plant parts are ground or crushed and combined with hot water or other liquids to create a medicinal paste or plaster.

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Herbal medicine

The resulting mixture is placed directly on wounds, bruises, aritric joints, burns, insect and animal bites, rashes, swellings, wrinkles or dermatological irritations e. Table 2 summarizes a partial list of plants prescribed by ethnopharmacologists for treating skin disorders.

Plants have an almost limitless ability to synthesize aromatic substances that have been evaluated for their therapeutic potential. These include alkaloids, coumarins, saponins and flavonoids 24 , Flavonoids are probably the best known of these substances due to their antioxidant properties The therapeutic benefit of several plant species used by traditional herbalists, at least in part, was attributed to their effective inhibition of oxidative processes 27 — Several of these herbs are used traditionally in treating liver diseases, where Pistacia lentiscus L.

A single dose of the aqueous boiled and non-boiled decoctions prepared from the leaves of P. The active constituents of milk thistle are flavonolignans including silybin, silydianin and silychristine, collectively known as silymarin 31 , Silymarin is not water soluble and so cannot be taken as a tea but as an encapsulated standardized extract. The Eastern region of the Mediterranean has been distinguished throughout generations with a rich inventory of natural medicinal herbs used by local herbalists 1 — 4 , 7 , 8 , 12 , 13 , 15 , 33 — In contrast to the historical importance of Arab medicine, current research into the different modalities of complementary alternative medicine CAM in our region and the know-how of modern Arab herbalists are limited.

The number and species of medicinal plants that are currently used by herbalists and practitioners were described in a comprehensive survey that was conducted on practitioners and herbalists using medicinal plants in an area that included Israel, the West Bank and the Golan Heights 15 , Research into the traditional medicinal herbs has also been conducted in many Arab countries such as Syria, Morocco, Yemen, Egypt and others 38 — The most recent survey conducted on the potential uses of plant species of the coastal Mediterranean region in Egypt 41 recorded species belonging to eight families.

According to these authors, all rare species, most of the occasional species and even some of the common ones are going to disappear as a result of overuse. Our heritage of plant herbs that flourished a few centuries ago is now in rapid decline. A report by the Arab Union for Agriculture and Development has indicated that out of plant species used in traditional Arab medicine only 23 herbs are still in use in pharmaceutical industry, 55 are used in perfume and cosmetics, 34 are involved in food industry and 10 species are used as botanical pesticides.

Moreover, many plant herbs used in traditional medicine are now rare or endangered species. Table 3 lists some of the important rare and endangered plant species used traditionally for treating human diseases or as botanical pesticides. There are several factors endangering plant diversity or even causing eradication of these herbs which include habitat loss, habitat degradation and overharvesting Selected list of important rare and endangered plant species used traditionally for treating human diseases or as botanical pesticides. The higher the number is the more the plant is at risk.

In the middle ages, in the periods of Muslim and Christian rule in the Near East, herbalists and owners of stands for preparing and selling medicines were recognized as a body under professional supervision by the authorities In contrast, recent surveys 18 , 37 have revealed that most of the practitioners do not have any formal education in the field of medicine and pharmacy. They are also wary of joining local unions or cooperating with local physicians for fear of losing their professional niche.

The competition amongst healers is quite high, perhaps because of the general insecurity surrounding this fringe activity. It is believed that these skills and abilities are passed down through family lines and visions, rather than also by training and apprenticeship A recent survey 37 reported that only 31 professional Arab practitioners in Israel, Palestine and the Golan Heights are still practicing.

This number is significantly less in comparison with that in previous surveys 12 , Each interviewed practitioner has his own methods of preparation, following the tradition of his parents or teachers. The process of transmitting knowledge from one generation to the next is complex one, and the end result is not always identical. It was also found that the traditional herbalists were not licensed for this particular purpose. This survey concluded that there is a necessity for proper handling and licensing of herbal medicines. A similar conclusion was also drawn by a comparable survey conducted by our group The scope of experience of those surveyed practitioners varied greatly, depending upon their location, i.

This indicates that this practice may disappear in some regions of the Middle East. Pleurisy is a condition where the lining of the lungs becomes inflamed and breathing is very difficult and painful. My son began using mullein after we had read online from another sufferer of his condition recommended mullein over any other pain med or herb. My son was in horrible pain, he took 3 mullein capsules and then took a nap.

After sleeping a couple hours he woke up with extremely reduced pain and became a believer. He now takes mullein whenever he feels his pleurisy coming on. Well while I was browsing through this book at Costco I discovered the Mullien plant that my son just started taking for his pleurisy. I recognized the mullein plant immediately!

History of herbal medicine

It grows wild in my backyard! It is a tall about 3-foot high beautiful green plant with large extremely soft lambs ears leaves and a large yellow stalk of gorgeous yellow flowers. The pictures of this extremely valuable plant inside this book are fabulous!! I recognized this plant and began collecting it's leaves immediately to make a very tasty and healthy tea with honey which my son and daughter love! Mullien works wonders for any lung conditions, coughs, colds, flu, asthma and allergies. I suffer from allergies that congest my lungs, especially from mold in the fall.

I usually have to take Mucinex throughout the allergy season to keep my lungs clear, not anymore! Mullien capsules work just as well! I take two capsules in the morning or one tablespoon for tea and it works for about 12 hours! I found this herb growing in a friend's garden a month ago and asked if I could harvest the leaves.

I had a large bag full and took them home and dehydrated them to use for tea. The amount I collected paid for this book which sold out at Costco so I ordered it here on Amazon. Use this book to save money on home remedies that may be growing in your own backyard. Natural, wild herbs are always better than cultivated ones. Mullien plant's leaves, flowers and roots can all be used for medicinal purposes. Find out what treasures are growing in your backyard!

Amazing Full Color Pictures. Very pleased with this book. I teach WildCrafting for a living. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I began my natural products journey when I started being sensitive to perfumes, so I sought out essential oils. But they were expensive and difficult to come by, plus there is controversy on the use of oils internally. Then I began researching herbs, and I learned so much! An herb that thrives in India is not likely to thrive in Indiana. My husband is involved with emergency management, and disaster planning is often a topic in our house.

I realized how UN-sustainable essential oils and exotic herbs are. But when I looked at the lush Indiana woodlands and prairies around me, I knew that beneficial herbs had to exist here. I knew a little about plantain, dandelion, and clover, but not much else.

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How I regretted not talking to my grandfather about all his herbal wisdom before he died almost two decades ago! Includes many primary sources and debunked pseudoscience masquerading as science. Please help improve this article if you can. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article needs more medical references for verification or relies too heavily on primary sources. Please review the contents of the article and add the appropriate references if you can. Unsourced or poorly sourced material may be challenged and removed. Alternative medicine Quackery Health fraud History of alternative medicine Rise of modern medicine Pseudoscience Antiscience Skepticism Skeptical movement.

Fringe medicine and science. Alternative medical systems Mind—body intervention Biologically-based therapy Manipulative methods Energy therapy. Medicine in ancient Greece and Medicine in ancient Rome. Medicine in medieval Islam and Medieval medicine of Western Europe. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The World Health Organization. Retrieved 28 December Healing with plants in the American and Mexican West.

Traditional medicine - Wikipedia

University of Arizona Press. Plural medical systems in the Horn of Africa: Ciencias de la naturaleza en Al-Andalus: Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science. Health Information and Libraries Journal. The Cultural history of plants. A Documentary History, to the Present, W.

National Geographic Society; Fulcher, Cathy Dubeansky, Pharmacology: International Journal of Pharmacology. Sociology of Health and Illness. Malaysian Journal of Science, 24 1. Think yourself better ", 21 May , pp. Tribal Formulations and Traditional Herbal Practices.