Tag Archive | herbal

Medieval Europe’s Dependence on Asian Natural Remedies

I recently came across an article on herbal medicine of the early Middle Ages in Europe that showed the importance of Middle Eastern and South Asian natural remedies to the Western pharmaceutical tradition. The article, “The Introduction and Use of Eastern Drugs in the Early Middle Ages” by John M. Riddle, appeared in a German […]

Senna of Arabia

Senna, sometimes called “Mecca Senna,” is a plant of Arabian origin, whose yellow-green leaves smell tea-like but have no marked taste. As an infusion, they are said to induce nausea and make a useful mild purgative. The plant is widely acknowledged in Bahrain as medicinal. Its pods and leaves are used there as a purgative, […]

Cactus for Your Health?

Caralluma is an Old World cactus that is said to have several important health benefits. Several species are found in the Arabian Peninsula, from northwest Saudi Arabia to Oman. Those species that grow in Arabia look like grayish stones and have a “carrion-like” aroma which attracts flies, aiding in pollination. Caralluma grows in many parts […]

Hunayn ibn Ishaq on the Hidden Drugs of Galen – Part II

Here is the second and concluding part of our “restructuring” of the English translation of the Arabic Al-Adwiya al-Maktuma (“The Hidden Drugs”) written originally by Galen and commented upon by Hunayn ibn Ishaq:   Carob Tree Ceretonia siliqua L.  Galen: The malodorous plant whose cones (fruits) resemble kidney beans: if a woman swallows from its […]