Ancient Medicine Practices

Traditional or ancient medicine is sometimes seen as pre-scientific, its practices and treatments to be replaced by modern, better, more efficient science-based medicine.  What is less known, however, is its contribution to modern science and medicine, and a long history of traditional products and practices being translated into effective treatments for health conditions. 

Around 40% of pharmaceutical products today draw from nature and traditional knowledge.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is using advanced algorithms and learning capabilities allow researchers to explore extensive traditional medical knowledge, mapping evidence and identifying once elusive patterns and trends.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has enabled the study of brain activity and measuring of relaxation responses of individuals engaged in traditional practices of yoga and meditation, which people around the world increasingly use for their mental health, stress management and overall well-being.  Taking clues from traditional uses, new clinically effective drugs can be identified through research methods such as ethnopharmacology and reverse pharmacology. 

It is an exciting time in research about traditional medicine products and practices, which are increasingly used by people around the world.  With increased use comes more research and more evidence to establish what works and what doesn’t.  And the research looks really promising.

Many herbs and natural products have been shown to have positive effects upon ailments and are still used by modern herbalists, thousands of years later.

  • Honey: An excellent antiseptic, used to treat wounds, and an ancient cure that is now increasingly used by the British Military to treat burns.
  • Willow: A concoction of this was used to treat toothache and willow bark formed the basis of modern aspirin.
  • Mint: Used to treat gastric ailments and mint is another cure that is still used today.
  • Pomegranate: Used to treat infestations of parasitic worms, and modern scientists have found that the high tannin content of this fruit actually does paralyse worms, known to Ancient Egyptian medicine as the ‘snakes of the digestive system.
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