This page has been robot translated, sorry for typos if any. Original content here.

Herbalist of medicinal plants

<<< Herbs and Diseases Natural disease treatment

Лечение натуральными растительными средствами

A long time ago, people used plants to treat a wide variety of diseases.

Interesting information about the use of the healing properties of plants can be found in the monuments of ancient culture - Sanskrit, Hebrew, Chinese, Greek, Roman.

Extensive material on the use of medicinal plants was discovered in the study of papyrus, discovered in the XIX century by the German Egyptologist Georg Ebers, - "Books on the preparation of medicines for all parts of the body . "

It contains a number of recipes that the ancient Egyptians used to treat many diseases .

They used various ointments, lotions, potions , which had a rather complex composition.

In Egypt, fragrant oils, balms, and resins were widespread. Already at that time, the healing properties of aloe, plantain, juniper, castor oil and many other plants were well known.

The information is for reference only!


  1. Find the desired plant in the list below (Use the combination Ctrl + F to search for a word on the page).
  2. Click on it to open a detailed description and photograph.

The oldest library in the world - the library of the Assyrian king Ashshurbanipal in Nineveh (about 660 BC) on clay tablets written by cuneiform, also contains extensive information about medicinal plants. Along with their description, diseases are indicated in which medicinal plants are used , and in what form they should be used.

In ancient Chinese medicine, mention can be made of many human diseases. The collection of medicinal plants and various remedies of Li Shi-chen (1522 - 1596), Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy, which gives a detailed description of numerous medicinal products from medicinal plants, is widely known.

Doctors of ancient India believed that the majority of diseases stemmed from the spoilage of “body juices,” therefore, bloodletting, vomiting, and other drugs were recommended for treatment, including a large group of herbal medicines . Many Indian plants (especially spices) were imported into the Roman Empire. Some of the Indian plants have long entered European medical practice - chilibuha, rauwolfia, etc. "If you look around with the eyes of a doctor looking for medicines, we can say that we live in the world of medicines ...", says one of the precepts of ancient Buddhist medicine .

An outstanding representative of the Arab medical school Avicenna, whose millennium since its birth in 1980 was celebrated by the entire progressive world, wrote The Canon of Medical Science in five volumes. It has been translated into many languages ​​of the world and in the Middle Ages was a reference book for Arab and European doctors. In her book, Avicenna described about 900 species of medicinal plants .

Scientific medicine begins its development from the time of the famous physician of Ancient Greece Hippocrates (460 - 377 BC). In his medical work, he widely used numerous herbal preparations . A number of them were apparently borrowed from Egyptian medicine. Hippocrates described 236 plant species recognized by ancient Greek medicine as therapeutic agents .

The first edition of the medical encyclopedia, or textbook , belongs to the ancient Roman physician Avl Cornelius Celsus (late 1st century BC - early 1st century AD). In eight books “On Medicine”, he summarized all the medical literature of his time from the “Yajur Veda” of the ancient Indian physician Sushrut to the work of Asklepiad. In this work, a lot of space is given to medicinal plants . It describes the methods used to treat various diseases; recommendations for the use of certain plants are given. In the works of Celsus one can find not only botanical descriptions of plantain, poppy, caraway seeds, wine berries, gum plants , but also practical methods of their medical use .

In the middle of the first century of our era, the doctor of the Roman army in Asia, Dioscorides, made up a vast herbalist , which included most of the medicinal plants known by that time — about 500 species. This book was not only a herbalist, but also a kind of set of information on the pharmacy and pharmacology of that time.

The author of the new doctrine of medicinal plants was the famous physician and pharmacist of Ancient Rome, Claudius Galen (129 - 201 AD). He wrote about 200 works on medicine. Of the greatest importance are his two herbalists, who played a large role in medicine. They have been repeatedly translated into Arabic, Syriac, Persian and Hebrew. The author was one of the initiators of obtaining preparations from plant materials - tinctures, extracts and other dosage forms . And now they are called galenic preparations and still have not lost their great practical significance in medicine.

In the IV century, the most famous of the Latin herbalists appeared , compiled by Apuleius. The herbalist was so popular that when printing was invented, it was he who was the first to print among medical books. In the 9th and 10th centuries, the first translations of the herbalists of Dioscorides, Galen and Apuleius appeared in European languages ​​- Italian, French, English, German. Original European herbalists appear later - in the XV and XVI centuries, and the information contained in them is largely borrowed from Greek and Latin herbalists.

The current Black Sea coast was famous for its medicinal herbs. Hippocrates, having visited these places, wrote about excellent medicines from the Scythian root (rhubarb), Pontic absintia (wormwood), irrigation root (calamus) and others. The ancient Greek philosopher and natural scientist Theophrastus (372 - 287 BC) repeatedly in his writings he mentions Scythian grass , which was widely used to treat wounds.

In ancient Russia, the use of plants for medicinal purposes was reflected in the remarkable monument of ancient Russian culture “Svyatoslav Collection” (1073), compiled for the Grand Duke Svyatoslav Yaroslavovich by a certain clerk Grigory. In this manuscript, much space is devoted to describing the plants that were used at that time to obtain medicines.

With the adoption of Christianity, the spread of writing and literacy in Russia, the first medical books appeared , the so-called herbalists, and medical books. A copy of the first Russian medical treatment “Ointment” was preserved, the compiler of which was the granddaughter of Vladimir Monomakh - Eupraxia. Of particular interest to doctors is the fourth chapter of this work, devoted to the treatment of "external" diseases.

For the treatment of internal and external diseases in Russia, the application of plants and their ingestion were readily used (for example, cabbage, flax, mustard, hazel or their juices were applied). Along with herbal medicines, the Russian people from ancient times used honey in medical practice. It was prescribed in its pure form and in mixtures with a decoction of herbs , with oil, vinegar, lard, beer, baked onions and many other substances.

In addition to herbalists and healers, the so-called “helicograds” with numerous descriptions of plants and their medicinal products became widespread. “This book, the verb cool cool helicopter or the book of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker” (“Cool Vertograd”) is one of the fairly common ancient Russian textbooks . It is a translation of the very popular Western European medical encyclopedia of the XV-XVI centuries. The text of the helicopter cities has changed over time. They described rational empirical remedies from herbs, trees, and minerals .

Great interest in the study of domestic medicines was shown in Russia after the reforms of Peter I, which paid great attention to the collection of medicinal herbs . On his orders, state-owned pharmacies and the so-called “pharmacy gardens” (1713) were created. One of them, the St. Petersburg Pharmaceutical Garden, later turned into a botanical garden, now transformed into the Botanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation .

Herbs were collected and used throughout Russia , including in Siberia, Ukraine, and Belarus. But of course, there could be no talk of any systematic study of the medicinal flora of Russia . Single pharmacochemical laboratories and plantations of medicinal plants were organized.

Only much later did the study of the flora and plant resources of Russia develop. A prominent Russian scientist, academician P. S. Pallas, wrote: “Many home remedies, by simple people or by wild unenlightened people, are open cases, in the hands of a doctor over time become life-saving drugs . With the deepening of medical knowledge, ideas about domestic medicinal plants, their collection, cultivation and practical application are expanding. A number of scientific expeditions to various parts of Russia are carried out, books with a description of a large number of medicinal plants growing in various regions of the country are being published.

With the opening of the Medical and Surgical Academy in St. Petersburg (1798), it became a center for the study of medicinal plants . Although the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries were marked by significant successes in the synthesis of new chemical preparations, herbal medicines did not lose their significance . Nevertheless, the XIX century is already marked by some decline in interest in medicinal plants of the domestic flora.

Only with the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution did radical transformations become possible in all aspects of the life of our people. They touched on the use of medicinal plants. It was decided to create a pharmaceutical industry on its own raw materials, to strengthen and develop a plant raw material base taking into account the needs of the pharmacy network and exports.

In 1919, work began on combining the procurement of medicinal raw materials and transferring them to the jurisdiction of the state. In subsequent years, special legislation was adopted on the collection and culture of medicinal plants. In 1930, specialized experimental stations of medicinal plants were created in different geographical zones of the country (in Lubny, Mogilev, Olgin, Bitsa, Sukhumi, etc.). Since 1931 they all came under the jurisdiction of the newly organized All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (VILAR, since 1969 - VILR) , which concentrated all the research and scientific production activities in the field of medicinal plant growing . The Institute has also become a center for botanical and chemical research.

Изучению многовекового опыта народа в использовании растений с лечебной целью в нашей стране придается большое значение. Кроме ВИЛРа, этим и поиском новых лечебных препаратов из растений занимается ряд других научно-исследовательских институтов, кафедр медицинских и фармацевтических вузов, университетов и педагогических институтов. Успешное изучение лекарственных растений как источника биологически активных веществ позволило получить и широко внедрить в медицинскую практику целый ряд новых высокоэффективных лечебных препаратов.