Friday, June 14, 2024

It is said to be the “home of stomach ailments”, so what if food is also a source of medicine?


  • Edel Curcit
  • BBC

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Nineteen percent of Africa’s population is currently suffering from malnutrition

The food we eat is one of the main causes of disease. As malnutrition increases, so do the diseases associated with it. But can food be used to solve the world’s health problems instead?

Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical texts in the world, is 110 pages long and contains a collection of remedies and was written in 1500 BC. The text found between the legs of the mummy-made body in the Egyptian tomb contains instructions on plants to eat to treat various ailments, and offers 811 medicines to treat a variety of ailments ranging from mental illnesses to crocodile bites.

The “Hippocratic Collection” was frequently published by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, widely regarded as the “father of modern Western medicine” (modern scholars believe that this collection was written by many healers who followed Hippocrates).

The group includes honey to treat insomnia and infected wounds, winter cherry to improve eyesight and toothache, basil to soften the intestines and treat infections, and gum arabic for birth control. In total, 40 percent of the treatments in this group are made from 44 plants – 34 of which are consumed as food.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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