Herbal Wines Healed Ancient Egyptians: The ancient Egyptians settled on adding herbs and other ingredients that had marked medicinal effects, probably just based on observational trial and error.
Per-Ankh: Ancient Egypt
Herbal Wines Healed Ancient Egyptians
Herbal Wines Healed Ancient Egyptians
Herbal Wines Healed Ancient Egyptians

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine to go down, but wine worked even better for the ancient Egyptians, who used to doctor their alcoholic beverages with medicinal herbs and other ingredients, according to a new study.

The oldest of the recently analyzed herbal wines dates to 3150 B.C. Since early medical papyri document the purported health benefits of some of the wine's ingredients, the discovery provides the first direct chemical evidence for wine with organic medical additives.

"The ancient Egyptians settled on adding herbs and other ingredients that had marked medicinal effects, probably just based on observational trial and error," Patrick McGovern, lead author of the paper, told Discovery News.

"Of course superstitions crept in too, such as when they would throw in a root because it resembled a certain body part, but we think there was some medical truth behind a lot of their wine additives," continued McGovern, an archaeochemist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum.

He and colleagues Armen Mirzoian and Gretchen Hall chemically analyzed residues found inside a jar excavated from the tomb of one of Egypt's first pharaohs, Scorpion I. They also conducted chemical tests on a later amphora, dating to the 4the to 6th centuries A.D., from Gebel Adda in southern Egypt.

See Full Story: Discovery Channel

[Image: German Archaeological Institute in Cairo]

Viewed: 4539 TimesDate: 14/04/2009