Herbs in History: Laurel & Fig

Our journey into herbal history continues for a second year!


December 8, 2023

In an effort to preserve and share the fascinating histories of medicinal plants and herbs that have been used around the world for ages, the AHPA Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals (AHPA-ERB Foundation) is honored to partner with Alain Touwaide, Ph.D., and Emanuela Appetiti of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions to launch the Herbs in History project in 2022.

Our second year of journeying into herbal history continues with a look into the backgrounds of laurel and fig. Preview the entries below and visit Herbs in History online to read more.

Laurel (Laurus nobilis L.)

Apollo and deep memory

Immortalized by Linnaeus as a noble tree, laurel (Laurus nobilis L.) has indeed a pedigree that very few plants can claim, from Apollo to the Roman emperors. It has a noble stature, growing up to 12 m (39 ft) with a foliage up to 10 m wide (32 ft) in the Mediterranean campaign and deservedly punctuates the famous via dei Fori Imperiali (the Imperial Fora) in Rome under the canopy of the higher pines. | Read more...

Fig (Ficus carica L.)

The most valuable fruit

Figs (Ficus carica L.) need no presentation. They are well known, be they dark blue or light green, fresh or dry. They remind us of the Mediterranean and its sun, the wide trees with a dome-shaped canopy, their dark green leaves, pale green undersides, palmate, large up to 10 inches, with three to five lobes, hairy, and emanating a typical fragrant scent. And the sugary taste, their hundreds of small seeds, and a crunchy feeling when eating figs, which, when they are very ripe, drip a honey-like, paradisiac syrup. Or, also, the dry figs, packed and interspersed with Noble Laurel leaves that preserve them from insects. | Read more...

About the Project

Herbs in History is made possible by funding from the AHPA-ERB Foundation, as part of the nonprofit foundation's mission promote education and research on medicinal, therapeutic, and health-promoting herbs. Tune in monthly for thoughtfully detailed historical accounts of herbs you know and love, and learn more about the origins of medicinal plants that have stood the test of time.




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