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The history of herbs

The use of plants for medicinal purposes is as old as civilization, and the first known written record of curative plants was from a Sumerian herbal of 2200 BC. The Greek doctor Hippocrates listed some 400 herbs in common use in the 5th century BC, and Dioscorides, in the first century AD, wrote a herbal using 600 plants which became the basis for many later works. One of the most popular herbals ever was written by Culpeper in the seventeenth century.

During the Dark Ages, superstition combined with ignorance bestowed magical properties on plants, sometimes with minimal reason, and elaborate rituals were devised to preserve the mystery and magic.

Man has also been aware of the effects of scent on the body, mind and emotion from the beginning of civilization. Flowers were utilized to attract love, food and protection. Fragrant plants were worn to heal the body. The most costly flowers were offered to gods and goddesses as sacrifices, and the use of aromatic incense is recorded from the earliest of times.

Worldwide, from antiquity to modern times, different cultures have found common as well as diverse uses for herbs and oils, and the myths, legends, folklore and medicines reflect these knowledges.







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