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The History of Herbs

Ed Shanks

If you are a fan of sports supplements, then you already
know that herbs are beneficial to improving performance.  Heck, herbs have been part of some of the
best hard hitting, ass kicking stimulant formulas developed during the last 20
years. But, do you know the history of
herbs and when they first became popular? If not, sit back and enjoy the history of herbs!

Ancient Usage of Herbs

Herbs have been used for thousands of years and across numerous
continents to treat both physical and mental aliments. Even Charles the great, known to most as
Emperor Charlemagne, was a proponent of herbs. “An herb is the friend of physicians and the praise of cooks.”

When we said herbal use has been going on for thousands of
years, we weren’t kidding. The Lascaux
cave paintings in France depict herbs. These drawings have been dated back to between 13,000 and 25,000
B.C. Around 1500BC, Ancient Egyptians
wrote the Ebers Papyrus. It listed over 850 herbal medicines. And don’t forget the Romans and Greeks. Both believed in heavy use of herbs. The Romans used dill to purify the air.

During the 5th century, the “Father of Modern
Medicine,” Hippocrates, wrote a guide with around 400 herbal entries. His words “let your foods be your medicines,
and your medicines your food” was a common belief during his lifetime. He was the first to write about the medicinal
properties of willow bark. He said it
could be used to treat fevers and pain. And
wouldn’t you know it, scientist in the 1800s started synthesizing compounds
from willow bark to make aspirin.

During the Middle Ages, herbs were used to cover the bad
taste of food that couldn’t be refrigerated and to help preserve meat. However, it didn’t stop there. Students studied medicine and grew herbs in
the Benedictine monasteries. These
monasteries were also responsible for the translation of ancient Greco-Roman
and Arabic writings on medicine.

The Herbalism Explosion

Between the 15th and 17th centuries,
the popularity of herbalism exploded. The first herbal book in English, Grete
Herball of 1526
, was published. Even
the physician and botanist, Nicholas Culpeper, published a book on his herbal
knowledge during the first half of the 17th century. He wanted to bring medicine to the masses and
sought to make medical information available to everyone.

During the latter half of the 19th century, the
Eclectics, a group of physicians, started treating their patients with
botanical medicines. They used many
forms of treatment that were safer than the conventional medical practices of
the day.

The Rise of Western Medicine

The Herbal movement
flourished in the United States during the end of the 19th
century. However, the movement was short
lived. In 1904, the American Medical
Association (AMA) formed the Council on Medical Education (CME). They established specific standards that
medical teaching facilities had to meet. Most of the facilities failed to meet those standards and were forced to
either close or merge with larger Universities. Schools that offered training in Eclectic medicine, chiropractic
medicine, or osteopathic medicine were forced to drop these courses or lose
their accreditation.

Herbs Today

In the last 30 years, we have seen a resurgence in herbalism. People have started to realize the benefits
of using herbs to balance the mind and body, and to help heal numerous ailments. Scientist are using modern technology, such
as MRIs, to prove that herbs are beneficial. And what’s even better is the wide selection of herbs that are easily
available. With extraction processes
being constantly refined, herbs are now more powerful, and cost less. What a great time to be alive!

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