An Ancient Remedy for Curing Cold
Ancient Egypt is famous for its medical knowledge and use of organic products as herbs and spices for treatments. It has been found a wine jar from the tomb of one of Egypt’s first pharaohs, Scorpion I, which was steeped with herbs including balm, coriander, mint and sage, as well as pine tree resin.
The German egyptologist Georg Moritz Ebers spent the winter season of 1873-74 in Luxor. There he made an important discovery. One day he bought an old papyrus from an antique-shop for the large amount of 350 English pounds. At the time this represented forty monthly salaries for professor Ebers.
Ebers was told that the papyrus was found by tomb robbers between the legs of a mummy, but which tomb it was, or where it was situated, the antique dealer wouldn’t tell.
The papyrus turned out to be a medical papyrus, dating from ca 1550 BC, and one of the most important ancient medical Egyptian papyri ever found. Actually it is one of the oldest preserved medical documents anywhere.
The papyrus is named after its discoverer, and we know it today as the Ebers Papyrus.
The library of the University of Leipzig in Germany is the current keeper of the papyrus.
The papyrus is ca 19 meters long, 30 cm wide, has 108 columns, numbered from 1 to 110 (no. 28/29 is missing), and consists of 879 texts, which mostly tell about remedies and magic formulas for healing. Some texts are anatomical descriptions, especially of the human heart.
Scientist believe that large parts of the texts are much older than the actual papyrus, and that they are copied from texts of the Old and Middle kingdom of ancient Egypt, some texts dating as far back as 3400 BC.
The ancient Egyptians used a lot of different herbs to improve health and cure different ailments, and as said above this is a tradition that is over 5000 years old.
This is an example for a recipe for a remedy for curing cold.
1/16 juniper berries
1/16 Lower Egyptian jbw-plant, (an unidentified plant)
1/16 jbxj-liquid, (an unspecified liquid)
1/16 celery of the desert
1/16 celery of the North
1/16 pSnt-Mineral, (mineral not specifically designated)
1/16 tjam-plant, (an unidentified plant)
1/16 xbw-plant, (an unidentified plant)
1/16 Swt-Nmtj-plant, (creeping cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans)? Beard grass?)
1/32 white six-row barley
1/16 six-row barley green
5 ro conifer turpentine
1/16 gyt plant (a plant – the same as gjw – purple nutsedge)
5 ro psD (an unspecified fruit)-mineral
1/16 rwD mineral (a not-designated mineral)
1/8 xt-ds-plant (Myrtle (Myrtus communis)?
Dress or bandage with it
The Ebers Papyrus is an excellent site about the papyrus (in German).