Home Remedies – Who Really Invented Them?
You certainly rely on a home remedy when you have a mild ailment or a common disease. It is perfectly normal for people to rely on something they have at their disposal than to run to the doctor or to the drugstore when they are not feeling well. There are also cases in which the standard treatment of a medical condition may be painful or not sufficient to relieve the symptoms so sufferers resort to using home remedies to feel better. You can also use various homemade remedies for insect stings and for treating stains at home. In fact, such home remedies are much more common than you might think. But where do the home remedies come from? Who came up with them?
It is worth defining what home remedies are first. These are different substances that are made from products commonly found in the home. These include herbs, spices, other cooking ingredients, vegetables and fruits. The medications are made through different processes. The instructions for preparation are described in recipes.
It is not known exactly who invented the home remedies that we know today. In the past, people did not have medications like we do today. Sciences, such as chemistry and biology, were not invented. It is believed that many of the medicinal properties of different plants and foods have been discovered accidently. For instance, a person with a stomach upset decided to chew a good smelling plant and he felt better. In turn, others started using it as well. As people began to learn more about the plants, vegetables and fruits, they started making more complex recipes including various ingredients.
In ancient and medieval times people did not have the opportunity to describe the medicinal properties or the recipe for one treatment to one another. Writing was invented, but it was accessible only to small privileged groups of people, so the recipes for the home remedies were passed by word of mouth from one person to another and from one generation to the next. Basically, home remedies are much like the folklore songs that we know from our ancestors. Someone somewhere invented them, so they became widespread by word of mouth.
With the invention of the first primitive machines for printing books, the first cookbooks began to appear. They often contained various recipes for home remedies as well as for dishes and drinks. In some cases, the actual dishes were recommended as remedies. One notable example is the chicken soup that we use today to get relief from colds. Other home remedies that were used for medicinal purposes solely have lost their original purpose to some extent. The popular Italian liquors that are served as digestifs today were actually medications in the past. Indeed, they aid digestion and prevent bloating, gas and constipation. Another proof that they were originally invented as remedies is that the taste of some of the popular digestifs is quite bitter.
Some might think that the herbal remedies originating from China and India are actually home remedies, but this is not necessarily the case. Some were really invented by people and prepared at home, but others could only be prepared by healers who knew the exact ingredients and the necessary amounts as well as the methods for preparation. These special cures were actually not home remedies.
For instance, congee soup was used and is still used as a home remedy in China. On the other hand, the herbal remedies in traditional Chinese medicine are prepared using different herb ingredients depending on the individual condition of the sufferer. Acupuncture is another form of traditional treatment, but cannot be performed at home by a non-professional.
Overall, it was the people who invented home remedies. The actual names of the inventors are not known, which is not the case with modern medications such as penicillin. With time the single ingredients often became replaced by more complex recipes. As new plants were discovered and new substances for home use were invented, they inevitably became used as home remedies, provided that they were attributed medicinal properties. The recipes were passed from one generation to the other. They have reached us through our grandparents and parents. The home remedies were used by our ancestors and we are using them today.