Interesting Facts on Herbs & Spices from the Ancient World

by | Feb 25, 2021 | Herbs, Spices and Flavouring Agents | 0 comments

Interesting Facts on Herbs & Spices from the Ancient World:
Ancient Jerusalem:
Herbaceous plants mentioned in the Bible (used also in Egypt and Mesopotamia) are Cumin, Black Cumin (Nigella Seeds) and “Bitter Herbs” (believed to be Rosemary, for Roasted Lamb, also eaten with flat un-yeasted bread). Sweetening Agents included Honey (Also used to treat wounds, used medicinally), Dates and Figs. Burial Spices included Myrrh and Aloe. Moses in the book of Exodus were commissioned to make incense from fragrant spices using gum resin, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense to be burned on the incense altar in the Tabernacle.

Sage: Worn by Royalty, used as an anti-inflammatory, treated stomach ailments, sore throats, and were used as an aesthetic.
Thyme, Marjoram, Basil, Cumin, fennel, Garlic and Coriander were commonly used as stated in a Papyri 1550 BC for Medicinal purposes.

Ancient Persia:
Records during the reign of King Cyrus 500 BC mention ample use of Garlic.
Babylonia grew various spices including Garlic, Turmeric, Saffron, Thyme and Coriander 700BC for countless health benefits.

Ancient Mesopotamia:
Sumerian clay tablets dating from the 3rd millennium BC mention various herbaceous plants including Thyme.

Ancient China
The classic publication of Shennong Ben Cao Jing (The Classic Herbal Medicine Study Guide) was written 2000 BC, mentioning over a hundred herbal medicinal plants.

Ancient Greece:
Alexander the Great brought Eastern spices like Pepper, Cassia, Cinnamon, and Ginger to Greece and the world.
In the writings of Hippocrates, many cures were documented and treated while using and growing medicinal herbaceous plants including Saffron, Cinnamon, Thyme, Coriander, Mint, and Marjoram.

I hope you have received a bit more insight into Flavour Agents, Herbs and Spices, Nuts and Seeds, Fungi and Algae, as well as Blends, Pickles and Condiments from both the Ancient and Modern World.

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