Chinese herbal medicine, is generally regarded as a little over two thousand years old. This is not a reference of how long herbs have been used, but rather a reference to the documentation. The earliest comprehensive systematic writings of medical theory that we have, were written in China about 2 thousand years ago. Similar writings also arise about this time in the Mediterranean. It is known that the Chinese (as well as other cultures) were using many forms of medicine, long before this time.
The use of various herbs as medicine is common world wide in many cultures. It is also interesting that cultures from all parts of the world realized the medicinal properties of the same herbs. The same herbs are often used in much the same way world wide.
An interesting confirmation of the long history of herbal use came in 1960. Archeologists found a cave in Iraq that contained the remains of a pre human neanderthal. The remains were around 60,000 years old. The burial site contained plant material around the body. Eight different plants were identified, and of them, seven are still in use as herbal medicine to this day. Considering some of these plants have little food value, it appears that herbal medicine predates even the emergence of the modern human, and human society.
— David Bock
This article was from David's LakeCountryOnline.com column, "The Practical Herbalist"
David Bock, C. Ac., Dipl. OM, FABORM
Wisconsin Certified Acupuncturist
National Board Certification in Oriental Medicine
Fellow American Board Of Oriental Reproductive Medicine
Bock Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine
888 Thackeray Trail #206
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 53066