Ancient Greek herbal medicine is the foundation of modern medicine. The ancient Greek society had doctors, surgeons and even gynaecologists. The ancient Greeks were the first culture that was known to apply scientific thinking to the art of healing. Herbs were used as medicine, even during surgery. The Greeks had extensive knowledge of herbs and their healing properties making ancient Greek herbal medicine a storehouse of knowledge. Hippocrates, the father of modern medication and an ancient Greek, is the person that true rational medicine is attributed to. Hippocrates profound and practical philosophy was based on common sense and observation of the illness.
Disease and healing practices
The ancient Greeks believed that disease was an affliction that was carried out by the gods as a sort of reprimand. Even in today’s modern culture, some people still believe that disease is still divine in origin. Hippocrates is credited with changing the spiritually based ancient Greek herbal medicine practices to a system that is based on logic and observation. When the Romans conquered Greece, the Roman Catholic Church supported Hippocratic medicine which helped to establish the theories of the ancient Greek medicine. This establishment of medical beliefs became the basis for medical advancements throughout the world.
Scientific evidence about the effectiveness of herbal medicine
There is no question about that herbs contain chemical compounds.
An estimated 25% of the prescription drugs that are currently dispensed in the United States contain at least one active ingredient that has been derived from plant material. When plant extracts are not used in drugs there is a good chance that at least one ingredient has been chemically synthesized to mimic the properties of natural plant compounds. Some of the more common pharmaceutical drugs that are based on plant origins include Aspirin, Quinine and Digitalis. Herbs have undergone numerous studies and have been researched thoroughly since ancient Greek herbal medicine became the foundation for modern medicine and really they have been studied since the beginning of time. When it comes to solid scientific proof though, evidence has been found that supports the claims that various herbal manufacturers make as to the effectiveness of herbs. There is no doubt given the definition of the word drug, which is any substance that has a physiological effect on the body, that herbal remedies do have some effect on the body. The amount of effectiveness and the safeness of the herbal formulation is what is under scrutiny. Numerous useful drugs have been derived from plant sources but so have alkaloid and other deadly poisons. The interesting aspect of ancient Greek herbal medicine is that is has lasted through the centuries.