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One of the pages from The Book of Magical Charms. Credit: The Newberry Library

Do You Have the Magic Touch? Chicago Library Appeals to Public for Help Transcribing Magical Manuscripts

Do you have a talent in solving magical puzzles and manuscripts? Do you have a penchant for casting spells? Well, if that’s the case, Chicago's Newberry Library is offering the right job for you as...
Medieval medical text

Medieval Men With ‘Unsuitable Seed’ Prescribed Ground Up Pig Testicals

A recent study of medical and religious texts suggests that men were diagnosed with infertility as far back as Medieval times, and indeed may be held responsible for the inability to have children...
Main: A diver searches the Relitto del Pozzino shipwreck (Not Only Chemistry). Inset: One of the medicinal tablets. Image via PNAS/Giachi et. al.

Scientists Learn Ingredients of 2,000-Year-Old Roman Pills Found in Ancient Shipwreck

Discoveries of ancient shipwrecks are always exciting, but a small number of them are truly unique in the artifacts they yield, offering up items from the past that have been preserved for centuries...
Reenactment of Mongol battle

How Did They Do It? Masters of the Steppe: Battlefield Medicine and Gruesome Cures—Part III

Much is known about the ancient Mongol military and their incredible victories on the battlefield, but little is ever discussed about their arms, armor, horses, and logistics. What gear did they use...
Said to Cure Everything but Death, These Seeds are an Ancient Miracle Cure

Said to Cure Everything but Death, These Seeds are an Ancient Miracle Cure

The black cumin seed or “Nigella Sativa” has been revered as a miracle cure for a vast amount of illnesses and ailments throughout the ages and across many cultures. The plant is indigenous to the...
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...
Ancient Egyptian Papyrus Reveals Odd Cure for Ingrown Eyelashes – Bull Fat, Bat and Donkey Blood

Ancient Egyptian Papyrus Reveals Odd Cure for Ingrown Eyelashes – Bull Fat, Bat and Donkey Blood

An Egyptian medical document dating back about 3,500 years is being translated by a Danish Egyptologist, who reveals strange ingredients that to most modern people may not seem beneficial. The...
Ancient Chinese Remedy Could Wipe Out Tuberculosis

Ancient Chinese Remedy Could Wipe Out Tuberculosis

A team of researchers have recently found that centuries-old herbal medicine, discovered by Chinese scientists to cure malaria, could also aid in tuberculosis treatment and even slow drug resistance...
Aerial view of Thebes' Ramesseum, showing pylons and secondary buildings and the Medical Papyri.

Revealing the Ramesseum Medical Papyri and Other Remarkable Finds from the Temple of Ramesses II

The mortuary temple of Ramesses II is one of the most magnificent temples in the Theban necropolis in Upper Egypt. It was discovered by Jean-Francois Champollion, the same man who deciphered the...
Bloodletting was treatment for infection in the past.

In a world with no antibiotics, how did doctors treat infections?

The development of antibiotics and other antimicrobial therapies is arguably the greatest achievement of modern medicine. However, overuse and misuse of antimicrobial therapy predictably leads to...
Top Ten Historical Health and Medical Discoveries of 2015

Top Ten Historical Health and Medical Discoveries of 2015

There is much more to archaeology than just learning about our past. The study of the ancient world has also led to astounding discoveries that may have real utility in the modern day. As well as...
A five-volume treatise concerning medical matters, Dioscorides, De Materia Medica, Byzantium, 15th century.

Could ancient textbooks be the source of the next medical breakthrough?

The discovery that won the latest Nobel Prize for Medicine wouldn’t have been much of a revelation to doctors in ancient China. Pharmaceutical chemist Tu Youyou established that the compound...
De Materia Medica remedies book

Roseroot, an ancient remedy for fatigue and disease, gets new respect

Ancient Greeks, Vikings, Caucasians, prehistoric Siberians and Mongolians, and ancient Chinese emperors were all taken with the medicinal properties of the wild herb Rhodiola rosea (golden root or...
Ancient Healing Methods

Ancient Healing Methods Offer an Alternative Paradigm in Health

As long as life has existed on earth, so have issues associated with maintaining health and the remediation of disease. Today, when many of us get sick, our first course of action is to call the...
Alcohol as Medicine

Alcohol as medicine through the ages

While no one knows exactly when alcohol was first produced, it was presumably the result of a fortuitous accident that occurred at least tens of thousands of years ago. However, the discovery of late...
Mayan Healing

What the ancient Mayans can teach us about health and healing

In a time when human beings are suffering from a host of illnesses caused by stress and modern-day living, the need for ancient wisdom has never been more important. In fact, many people have become...

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