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Sacred Root of Herbalism (Part 3)

"The Divine Origin of the Craft of the Herbalist."  E.A. Wallis Budge


"According to a magical papyrus in the British Museum (No. 10051, Salt 825), the connect-

ion between the gods and certain vegetable substances was very close.  The tears that fall from the eyes of Horus turn into the gum anti, i.e. myrhh.  The blood that falls from the nose of Gebban turns into cedar trees, the sap of which is the oil 'sefi'.  On certain occasions Shu and Tefnut weep, and when their tears reach the ground they sink into the

earth and transform themselves into the plants from which incense is made.  When Ra weeps copiously the water on falling on the ground becomes "the flies that build", i.e. bees, and these, working in the flowers in every garden, produce honey and wax...The sweat of the goddesses Isis and Nepthys turns into plants...The blood of Osiris becomes the Nart tree of Amentt, and the blood of Set becomes the Nart tree of Abydos.  All the plants and the oil of the trees mentioned above were believed to be powerful medi-

cines, and played very important parts in all the rites and ceremonies connected with the

resurrection of the dead.  In the Graeco-Roman period, children and others were buried in pots filled with honey, and the body of Alexander the Great is said to have been pre-served in 'white honey which had not been melted.'...


Though there is good reason for believing that official schools of Herbalists existed in Egypt as early as B.C. 3000, not one of the theoretical works on which the physicians of that day based their work has come down to us.  All the copies of medical papyri now known were written after B.C. 1800., and their contents are series of prescriptions which were probably in general use among the various schools of herbalists in the country. The actual prescription is preceeded by a description of the syptoms of the disease which the medicine is intended to cure, and is followed by instructions for the preparation of the ingredients, and for the taking of the medicine by the patient. 


The Egyptians were renowned in ancient days for their knowledge of plants and herbs, and Hippocrates and others incorporated in their writings many prescriptions which they had taken from the medical papyri of the Egyptians."



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