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Comparison of Ferula drudeana plants with representations of silphion. Source: CC BY 4.0

Ancient Aphrodisiacal and ‘Cure-All’ Plant Rediscovered!

Pliny the Elder claimed Emperor Nero consumed the last stalk of silphion, which was believed to have gone extinct almost 2000 years ago. But now, a Turkish professor claims to have identified the...
The continuous use of lavender throughout history reveals its popularity. Source: asife / Adobe Stock

History’s Love of Lavender: From Mummies to Bathhouses and Beyond!

Lavender is one of the most well-known plants throughout the world. It is popular in gardening, baking, cleaning, and medicine. The soft purple flowers have been around for a few thousand years and...
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...
Two Major Discoveries at One of the First Urban Centers, Çatalhöyük

Two Major Discoveries at One of the First Urban Centers, Çatalhöyük

The massive Neolithic and Chalcolithic proto-city site of Çatalhöyük in Anatolia, Turkey was a flourishing center between 7100 BC and 5700 BC, and it attained the status of a UNESCO World Heritage...
Did Ancient Swiss Farmers Genetically Modify Opium Poppies?

Did Ancient Swiss Farmers Genetically Modify Opium Poppies?

When it comes to plants with powerful medical applications Asia can be called the ‘traditional home.’ However, this is not the case when it comes to opium poppies, for new research has shown their...
Bronze Age food, plant and cereal remains, from a mining site in Austria dating to the 11th - 9th century BC have been studied and the scientists found no evidence of food processing.

Healthy, Mostly Veg, Food Was Delivered to Bronze Age Mine Workers

Bronze Age food, plant and cereal remains, from a mining site in Austria dating to the 11th - 9th century BC have been studied and the scientists found no evidence of food processing. They suspect...
Maya Drug Secrets Revealed in Ancient Plant Residues

Maya Drug Secrets Revealed in Ancient Plant Residues

For the first time ever, scientists have identified a non-tobacco plant in ancient Maya drug containers. The researchers say the plant residues suggest that the Maya found a way to make tobacco...
The ancient Judean date palm tree has been resurrected

The Judean Date Palm: Extinct Tree Resurrected from Ancient Seeds

For thousands of years, the date palm was a staple crop. In the Kingdom of Judea it was a source of food, shelter, medicine, and shade. But the plant went extinct due to waves of conquest and...
Flying Rowan Tree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Power of the Flying Rowan Tree, Woe of the Witches

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...
Pipe residues reveal Native American smoking habits from centuries ago. Source: DedMityay /Adobe Stock

Ancient Pipes Reveal What Natives Americans Were Smoking

American researchers have used ground-breaking technologies to make discoveries about Native American smoking habits . They have, for the first time, found traces of a non-tobacco plant in a pipe...
Example of a small farm on a river island in the Amazon in Brazil. 10,000 years ago people made forest islands by domesticating plants in the Amazon. Source: Silvio /Adobe Stock

Earliest Amazon Inhabitants Created Thousands of 'Forest Islands'

The earliest human inhabitants of the Amazon created thousands of artificial forest islands as they tamed wild plants to grow food, a new study shows. The discovery of the mounds is the latest...
Scientists Crack Secrets of Ginkgo Trees’ Near-Immortality

Scientists Crack Secrets of Ginkgo Trees’ Near-Immortality

A new botanical scientific study on ginkgo trees highlights the species’ hyper-charged defenses and apparent escalation towards “immortality.” Native to China , G inkgo biloba , also known as the...
Reconstruction of Otzi the Iceman by Alfons & Adrie Kennis. (Thilo Parg/CC BY SA 3.0) View looking down westwards to the Ötzi site. (J.H. Dickson et al)

Moss Reveals New Route For Otzi's Death Walk

His 5,300-year-old mummy contained traces of 75 plant species and reveal that Ötzi (Otzi) the Iceman climbed through the Schnalstal valley in Italy. The naturally mummified, 5,300-year-old corpse is...
A man practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM includes some ancient remedies that can treat illnesses effectively. Source: DragonImages /Adobe Stock

11 Ancient Remedies that Effectively Treat Modern Ailments

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...
The mummified body of Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses the Great.

Mysterious Cocaine Mummies: Do They Prove Ancient Voyages Between Egypt and Americas?

Evidence which shows that ancient Egyptians had already crossed the Atlantic 3,000 years ago, long before Columbus in 1492, comes not only from the mimicking of cultural traditions as seen in Peru...
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...
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...
An olive tree in Israel. Image credit: Doreen/Adobe Stock

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,...

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