Laxatives seem to have dominated the ancient Egyptians' range of pharmaceuticals, suggests ongoing research on medicine in the time of the Pharaohs.The investigation is one of the largest studies of its kind and is a partnership between the UK's University of Manchester and Egypt's Medicinal Plant Conservation Project in St Katherine, Sinai.Although findings are preliminary, it appears that treating constipation preoccupied early doctors. "The ancient Egyptians used a diverse range of plants for an equally diverse range of medical conditions," says lead researcher Dr RyanMetcalfe.
"Laxatives dominated the field, with bulk laxatives, such as figs, bran and dates in common use."
Metcalfe, a scientist in
the university's School of Medicine, adds that the Egyptians used bowel
stimulants such as the bitter fruit colocynth and castor oil, "which
remained in clinical use until about 40 years ago".
One ancient remedy,
believed to relieve excess gas and indigestion, consisted of cumin, a
hefty portion of goose fat and milk.
They were boiled together,
strained and consumed.
Metcalfe and his team are
currently studying ancient papyrus records on the medical practices of
people from Egypt and the surrounding region.
Looking at plants
They are also conducting
geneticand chemical analysis on plant remains and resins. They hope to
identify trade routes, which species were used and how these plants
might have been cultivated outside their natural growing ranges.
"Around 50% of the plants
used in ancient Egypt remained in clinical use up to the mid 20th
century, and some are still in use today," Metcalfe says.
He adds that researchers
are even discovering 'new' cures based on old remedies, such as eating
celery to help curb inflammation associated with arthritis.
The early Egyptians also
seem to have recognised that stress could contribute to illness. They
established sanitariums where people would undergo 'dream therapy' and
treatments with 'healing waters'.
The scientists believe
Egyptians obtained their medical knowledge from nomadic tribesthat
united to for......
Two mummified fetuses found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun will undergo DNA testing to determine their relation to the famous pharaoh, Egyptian officials announced today. The fetuses may also solve a longtime puzzle: the identity of King Tut"s mother. The young Tut, who reigned from 1336 to 1337 B.C., is controversially thought to be the son of Pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife Kiya. But some archaeologists believe he could be the son of Akhenaten"s otherwife, the powerful Queen Nefertiti. "The fe...4,000-year-old necropolis in Fayoum contains dozens of mummies
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered an ancient necropolis containing dozens of beautifully preserved mummies dating back as far as 4,000 years. Excavations sponsored by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities revealed 53 tombs cut into rock south east of the Illahun pyramids in the oasis of Fayoum.Antiquities chief Zahi Hawass described four of the mummies, dating to the 22nd Dynasty (931-725 BC), as among the most beautiful ever discovered. Sitting in wooden coffins, the mummi...Tutankhamen's 'beautiful' face revealed
Submitted by Stance: The true face of ancient Egypt"s boy king Tutankhamen was revealed to the public for the first time on Sunday since he died in mysterious circumstances more than 3000 years ago. The mummy was moved from its ornate sarcophagus in the tomb where its 1922 discovery caused an international sensation to a nearby climate-controlled case where experts say it will be better preserved. Tutankhamen"s body is entirely wrapped in strips of white linen, except for his face which, until n...Giza Pyramids Align Toward City of Sun God
Some of Egypt's most magnificent pyramids were deliberately designed to follow a pattern of invisible diagonal lines, an Italian study has concluded. According to Giulio Magli, professor of archaeoastronomy at Milan's Polytechnic University, these invisible lines would connect most of the funerary complexes raised by the kings of the Old Kingdom between 2630 and 2323 B.C. "Following these diagonals, it appears clear that the arrangement of the monuments was carefully chose...Egyptian temples followed heavenly plans
A new study covering 650 ancient Egyptian temples dating back as far as 3000BC has revealed that many were aligned with astronomical events so precisely that it was possible to setyour calendar by them. "Ancient Egyptian temples were aligned soprecisely with astronomical events that people could set their political, economic and religious calendars by them. . So finds a study of 650 temples, some dating back to 3000BC." View: F...Cave complex beneath Giza Pyramids ?
British explorer Andrew Collins has claimed to have discovered an extensive series of chambers and tunnels underneath the Pyramids of Giza that is being described as the "lost underworld of the pharaohs"."An enormous systemof caves, chambers and tunnels lies hidden beneath the Pyramids of Giza, according to a British explorer who claims to have found the lost underworld of the pharaohs." View: Full Article | Source: ...Painted mummies found in ancient Egypt necropolis
A Norwegian University researcher believes he has unlocked the key to the pyramids" construction.For years experts have tried to figure out how the pyramids of Egypt were constructed, in particular how such heavy blocks were moved and placed with such precision. Ole J. Bryn believes he has the answer - ancientEgypt"s equivalent of the modern building grid. Scientists from around the world havetried to understand how the Egyptians erected their giant pyramids. . Now, an architect and re...Robot enters secret pyramid chamber
Markings in a tiny chamber of the Great Pyramid have been seen for the first time in 4,500 years.What lies within the mysterious shafts has been a topic of debate and speculation for years, multiple attempts to send robots in to send back pictures have been met with more questions than answers. This time however a fresh attempt to unravel the secrets of the pyramid have yielded images of markings onthe tunnel walls that could be heiroglyphics or even the doodlings of workers involved ...Radiocarbon dating verifies ancient Egypt's history
Experts have used scientific dating techniques to verify the historical chronology of ancient Egypt. Radiocarbon dating was used to show that the chronology of Egypt's Old, Middle and New Kingdoms is indeed accurate. The researchers dated seeds found in pharaohs' tombs, including some from the tomb of the King Tutankhamun. They write in the journal Science that some of the samples are more than 4,500 years old.Radiocarbon dating of ancient Egyptian objects is nothing new. . But this t...