Herbs in History: Horsetail & Cinnamon

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January 23, 2024

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.

Horsetail and cinnamon are next up in our journey into herbal history. Preview the entries below and visit Herbs in History online to read more.

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.)

An archaeological vestige of the immemorial times when the plant world was in the making on the Earth—the time of the dinosaurs, if not before—, the genus Equisetum is now ubiquitous, with several species. Its graphic representations in manuscripts through the centuries attest to this strange, almost paradoxical nature. They show a non-plant, with just a simple, vertical stem, almost no leaves, no flowers, fruits or seeds, and a barely visible root. Interestingly enough, this representation of an ancestral type has been preserved with quite a high level of fidelity in the several societies that transmitted the legacy of the past one after the other, from Antiquity to the Renaissance. | Read more...

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.)

The Mystery of Exotism
Widely used today, cinnamon has a long history of discovery, trade, rivalry, and also adulterations that was sometimes shrouded in mystery. Reliable information is provided by Dioscorides in the 1st century CE, who is traditionally considered to have well described cinnamon in his compilation on the natural resources used at that time to prepare medicines, the vast treatise De materia medica. | 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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