Ancient Egyptian remedies consist of a limited number of cultivated herbs and plants. Egyptians used simple recipes for medications, which were commonly added to common food in the form of spices and drinks. Egyptian foods and herbs spread to the rest of the world from antiquity, and became part of universally known culinary ingredients. Egyptian herbs and medications can be considered as "healthy foods", though they are not effective medicines for acute diseases, they are safe to take and eat
While many ailments would have been difficult or impossible to treat, the Egyptians were able to treat many less serious conditions through the use of natural remedies. Many of the remedies are familiar, as they are used today as homeopathic remedies.
Honey:Carvings in temples, on sarcophagi and obelisks prove that bees and honey had a vital significance in the daily life of ancient Egyptians.
*The Ebers Papyrus* refers to the medicinal value of honey. Almost all Egyptian medicines contained honey, wine and milk. Due to it's antiseptic and antifungal properties, honey was both used internally and externally, to soothe irritated skin, and aid in the healing of wounds and infections,
Doctors of ancient Egypt put this property of honey to work, treating open wounds with honey to prevent infection. This treatment is described in the Edwin Smith Papyrus, and the method must have saved untold numbers of lives from deadly infections at pyramid work sites where scrapes, gashes, and cuts would have been common.
Acacia:The gum derived from the acacia tree was used for gastrointestinal, and urinary tracts diseases. It was often mixed with boiling water to form a mucilage, and provided a soothing coating to the digestive tract, especially in cases of gastritis and ulcers.
Coriander: This herb and its seeds were commonly used by the Egyptians, coriander seeds have been found in ancient tombs, and is one of the first herbs mentioned in ancient scripts. Its Egyptian name is Kuzbarah derived from the Greek "Koris" It has pain relieving properties and is useful for headaches, muscle pain and stiffness, arthritis and rheumatism. Coriander essential oil was known to remove toxins and stimulate circulation. Rubbing it on the body eased muscular aches, pains and stiffness, including arthritis and inflammatory conditions. The seeds were used as a paste for mouth ulceration and a poultice for other ulcers.
Fenugreek:Known today in Egypt as "Helba", the plant was highly regarded by Hippocrates, and is one of the oldest medicinal herbs in ancient Egypt. It was used to ease childbirth and to increase milk flow. Mothers taking fenugreek usually notice an increase in milk flow within three days. It was used by Egyptian women to ease menstrual pain and problems. The antiviral properties of this herb have been touted for reducing mucus and relieving inflammation. Additionally, it was used to treat male impotence.
Garlic: In ancient Egypt, the workers who had to build the great pyramids were fed their daily share of garlic to give them the vitality and strength to carry on and perform well.
Hibiscus: In Egypt common hibiscus is used to treat coughs by placing extracts from the plant in the patient's bath or in water used for steam inhalations. Raw garlic was also routinely given to asthmatics and to those suffering from bronchial-pulmonary complaints.
Onion:The Ancient Egyptians worshiped it, believing that its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolized eternal life
Onions were eaten to help combat heart diseases, inhibit strokes and lower cholesterol.
Caraway: the seeds of this herb were considered useful in strengthening the functions of stomach, and relieving intestinal gases.
Henna: Besides being used as a dye, Henna was employed both internally and locally in jaundice, leprosy, smallpox, and affections of the skin. It was used to create an instant scab to close open wounds on large areas due to it's antiseptic properties, and as a cooling agent for burning of skins.
Castor Oil:Beans of this plant have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to 4000 BC According to the Ebers Papyrus
Egyptian doctors used castor oil to protect the eyes from irritation and dryness.