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A first-aid kit found on a 2,000-year-old shipwreck has provided a remarkable insight into the medicines concocted by ancient physicians to cure sailors of dysentery and other ailments
A wooden chest discovered on board the vessel contained pills made of ground-up vegetables, herbs and plants such as celery, onions, carrots, cabbage, alfalfa and chestnuts – all ingredients referred to in classical medical texts. The tablets, which were so well sealed that they miraculously survived being under water for more than two millennia, also contain extracts of parsley, nasturtium, radish, yarrow and hibiscus.
The pills are the oldest known archaeological remains of ancient pharmaceuticals. They would have been taken with a mouthful of wine or water, or may have been dissolved and smeared on the skin to treat inflammation and cuts.
They were found in 136 tin-lined wooden vials on a 50ft-long trading ship which was wrecked around 130 BC off the coast of Tuscany. Scientists believe they would have been used to treat gastrointestinal complaints suffered by sailors such as dysentery and diarrhoea.
Historians believe the presence of the medicine chest suggests that the ship may have had a doctor on board, or at least someone trained in rudimentary first aid. The chest also contained spatulas, suction cups and a mortar and pestle.
Carrots, parsley and wild onions were among the samples preserved in clay pills on board the merchant trading vessel that sank around 120 BC.
Doctors in Rome were often Greeks, brought to Rome as slaves. This meant their status was low for a long time, although their skills were valued by many people.
Many Greek medical ideas were adopted by the Romans and Greek medicine had a huge influence on Roman medicine. The first doctors to appear in Rome were Greek, captured as prisoners of war. Greek doctors would later move to Rome because they could make a good living there, or a better one than in the Greek cities.
Originally posted by TheUniverse
reply to post by anon72
Seems the Romans were more advanced(proper?) in treating humans than we are today in terms of ingested medicine
Instead of Chemical Laced Pharmaceuticals from Pharma Corps that don't cure anything but only subside the ailment
Its about time we start doing as the Romans did and revert some and/or a lot of medical research into the natural remedies from plants/herbs......
The average age at death today in the United States is about 82, while in the Roman Empire it was probably about 35. That seems like an enormous difference, but mostly the average is low because a lot of babies died soon after they were born.
After the age of 40, more people began dying of diseases like malaria and dysentery.