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Vases hanging above The Stone of Anointing (Stone of Unction) in the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. These vases contain water with rose essence.

Getting High with the Most High: Drugs in the Bible

As the Bronze Age grew old, some of its oral traditions were recorded by poets with gods in their quills and drugs in their gardens. The Odyssey and the Vedas include verses still recited today that...
The Alchemist.

Spagyric Secrets of The Alchemists: Alchemy as Alternative Medicine

Even the best read of us sometimes come up against a word which needs a quick check in the dictionary, and Spagyric is one of those words. To discover the origins and magical meaning of this ancient...
Yacouba Sawadogo planting.

The Man Who Stopped a Desert Using Ancient Farming

Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. A...
Alexander on his deathbed, surrounded by mourners, and dictating his will to his notary, Unknown Flemish artist

The Cold Case of Alexander the Great: Have Toxicologists Finally Explained His Untimely Death?

It might be a surprise to learn that Alexander the Great was only 32 when he died in Babylon in June 323 BC. In a short period of 12 years as ruler he managed to create an empire stretching from...
Wisconsin Community Pharmacy supply of natural remedies

Modern Science Confirms Ancient Chinese Remedy Provides Effective Non-Addictive Pain Relief

With innovations appearing in our lives seemingly every day it seems that new breakthroughs in science are the only ones we trust. New is always considered better. With this prevalent thinking those...
Herbs to Kill or Heal? Was this 17th Century Faux-Book for a Poisoner or Apothecary?

Secret Stash of Lethal Poisons Hidden in 17th Century Book. Was This Really an Assassin's Cabinet?

When photos of the faux-book first began to circulate online it was considered a hoax. The image was featured on the ArtefactPorn subreddit and commenters quickly denounced it as a fake, a mere...
The Ancient ‘Plant of Immortality’ That Treats Over 50 Medical Conditions

The Ancient ‘Plant of Immortality’ That Treats Over 50 Medical Conditions

Known as “the plant of immortality” by the Ancient Egyptians, and treasured by numerous subsequent cultures, aloe vera it still known today for its many health benefits. For millennia it has been...
A Symbol of Peace, Victory, and Abundance: The Millennia-Old History of the Olive Tree

A Symbol of Peace, Victory, and Abundance: The Millennia-Old History of the Olive Tree

People In many countries around the world cannot imagine their cuisine without olive oil. Apart from gastronomy, the gift of oil from the magnificent olive tree is also used today for other purposes...
Archaeologists Are Surprised to Find a 2,500-Year-Old Cannabis Burial Shroud Found in China

Archaeologists Are Surprised to Find a 2,500-Year-Old Cannabis Burial Shroud Found in China

Thirteen cannabis plants were found covering the body of a man who was buried in Turpan, China, around 2,500 years ago. This is the first time archaeologists have discovered a quantity of well-...
An image of the god Soma and its representations.

The Secret Substance Soma: Bringing Human Beings Closer to the Gods

Soma is both the name of a god and a substance that is found in Hindu mythology. As a deity, Soma is one of the most important gods in the Rigveda . Soma is also considered to be a primeval being,...
The Blooming and Fragrant History of Roses

The Blooming and Fragrant History of Roses

Roses are one of the most popular flowers around the world. Over the centuries they have been a symbol of love but they also sometimes served as symbols in parts of royal coats of arms. The first...
An Elegant Party (detail), painting of a small Chinese banquet hosted by the emperor for scholar-officials from the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Leaf Buds Discovered in Tomb of Early Chinese Emperor May Be the Oldest Example of Fine Tea

Archaeologists have identified the oldest known tea in the tomb of Jing Di, a Han Dynasty Chinese emperor who went into the afterlife well-provisioned with food, weapons, a ceramic-animal army and...
Main: Rowan tree, Glen Loyne, Inverness-shire (Geograph.co.uk, CC license). Inset: Celtic Rowan Tree fairy by Mickie Mueller

Woe of the Witches – The Elevated Flying Rowan Tree

Why were certain plants raised from mere utility to reverence in the collective consciousness of various populations from different cultures? This elevation from purely physical use to the realm of...
Men smoking pipes, Ottoman era, Turkey (Antiller / Flickr)

Medicinal Use of Narcotics Unearthed at Ottoman Archaeological Site in Turkey

A team of archaeologists carrying out excavations at Kaman-Kalehoyuk in Turkey found evidence of the medicinal use of henbane seeds. The seeds, which were found in an old hearth, have therapeutic...
Silphium - the ancient contraceptive herb

Silphium, the ancient contraceptive herb driven to extinction

As an institution of spiritual authority, the Catholic Church wields much influence over the attitudes and beliefs of millions of people around the globe. From scriptural doctrine to less refined...
The ancient origins of the ceremonial Kava drink of the Pacific

The ancient origins of the ceremonial Kava drink of the Pacific

The ancient origins of Kava drinking is known to trace back at least 3,000 years and is associated with both social and ceremonial function. It was, and is, highly valued for its medicinal uses as a...

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