Medicinal herbs: An overview of ancient culture uses vs modern

Our planet has a never-ending variety of plants.

For centuries, distinct cultures around the world have had a rich history of using medicinal herbs. They believed that some were herbal plants with genuine restorative powers.

Is there any proof of this in contemporary times? Do they serve a medicinal purpose?

Today we’re going to explore the history of these medicinal herbs. We’re going to examine if these “healing plants” have a place in the modern world as a factual form of herbal medicine.


Throughout ancient history, oregano was associated with joy and happiness by the Greeks and Romans. For thousands of years, it was used in dishes for flavour and its supposed

health-giving properties. People used it as a supplement that added to the nutritional value of dishes, as well as to the overall appeal.

It has a strong, earthy, pungent flavour. It’s part of the mint family and originally derives from a Mediterranean diet.

Historically, it was said to help with:

  • Muscle aches
  • Cramping
  • Skin sores
  • Indigestion
  • Colds and flu
  • Immune system boosting

In modern days, there’s evidence that suggests it could be beneficial for:

  • Regulating blood sugar
  • Fighting bacteria
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Fighting cancer
  • Allergies
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Headaches
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart conditions

Science is yet to confirm these as 100% factual. But people throughout time, including today, believe these are medicinal herbs with real, effective natural healing properties.

You can shop for Oregano here at our store.


This aromatic, intriguing plant has been used by people for no less than 2500 years. There are around 30 species. It derives from the Latin word ‘lavare’, meaning ‘to wash’. Greek and Roman societies would put this herb in herbal baths, for their skin and hair, and use it for perfumes and scents. It was thought of as a herb of love. Egyptians also used it in the mummification process.

It’s indigenous to mountainous regions on the western Mediterranean borders. By the sixteenth century, it had commonplace with other medicinal herbs in poor and rich households.

People, back then, thought it was useful for:

  • Prevention of infection and antiseptic qualities
  • Healing wounds
  • Warding of insects
  • Body washing and cleansing
  • Cooking

Today, Lavender oil extract is recognised as one of the most popular medicinal herbs and is used for various purposes such as Aromatherapy and for drinking in tea.

It’s used by herbalists for purposes like:

  • Improving sleep
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Treating skin afflictions
  • Balancing high blood pressure
  • Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory needs

But not all these are proven. Some science suggests it helps with anxiety, fungal infections, hair loss, and wounds. But this is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Please note: Lavender oil is toxic when ingested. Never directly swallow lavender oil. You can purchase lavender in its plant form from our store.


It’s part of the parsley family. As one of the most popular medicinal herbs, it dates back to 5000BC in recorded history and, like lavender, is even mentioned in the Bible. It was known for its powerful aroma. The healing herb has a refreshing citrus flavour and is used in many cuisines like Asian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern.

Its use by ancient Roman and Greek physicians is well known. It was prized by the Egyptians. Historical Eastern cultures such as the Chinese have cultivated coriander since the fourth century, and even further back with Indian cultures.

During these interesting times, it was used for:

  • Flavouring bread
  • Culinary uses
  • Treating digestive, respiratory, and urinary systems

Recent scientific studies suggest there are several health benefits of coriander. They include:

  • Lowering blood sugar (anti-diabetic)
  • Immune-boosting antioxidants
  • Promotes heart health (anti-cholesterol)
  • Promotes brain health
  • Promotes gut health
  • Fights infections
  • Skin protection
  • Anti-cancer

The great part is that it’s so easy to add to your everyday diet. Get your coriander from our online store!


The use of thyme as common medicinal herbs dates back to nearly 3000 years ago in ancient Sumeria. It was used then as an antiseptic. The ancient Egyptians used it for embalming their dead. Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it for incense in their temples, thinking it endowed people with courage. Hippocrates, known as “the father of medicine”, recommended it for respiratory infections. The Romans also used it in their flavouring for cheese and alcohol.

As time (thyme) passed, in the middle ages it was used in culinary dishes to prolong the life of food and reduce spoilage. It has an earthy, lemony flavour.

The herb was thought to have helped with:

  • Prevention against respiratory diseases
  • Preservation of food
  • Prevention of bodily infections

Thyme, (in our time) is recognised to have several health benefits, namely:

  • Destroying infectious bacteria
  • Control of high blood pressure
  • Preventing foodborne bacterial infections (has antimicrobial properties)
  • Combating colon cancer
  • Combating breast cancer
  • Combating breast infections
  • Combating common skin problems
  • Treating acne

Thyme is a useful, flavourful herb you can add to a wide variety of cuisines and dishes.

Buy all the fresh thyme you need from our online store and get it delivered straight to your door.

Please note: Always consult your doctor before trying alternate options like medicinal herbs. We do not recommend using medicinal herbs as a replacement for your doctor’s expert opinions.

Take precautions and speak to your doctor first.

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“Herbs are the friends of the physician and pride of the cook.” – Charlemagne.