The beneficial effects of aromatic and medicinal plants, as well as their use and contribution to the development of medicine are rooted in antiquity. Plants and herbs come with attraction properties from the past, exerting charm, and are linked to observation, experience, science, natural history and an impressive development in the therapeutic process.
Hippocrates (5th century BC) used many aromatic plants and herbs in the practice of medicine, many of which now form the basis of modern drugs. Therefore the experience and knowledge from the medicinal use of plants is spread and maintained in codes and manuscripts that have survived. You can find them in the works of Hippocrates, Theophrastus, Dioscorides, Pliny and Galen, but also in texts of Homer, Hesiod, Sappho, Sophocles, lyric poets, geographers and travellers.
"Whoever wants to have experience in these, must have seen the spontaneous vegetation of the earth, when in prosperity and decline"
Dioscorides (1st century AD)
Nomenclature of aromatic and medicinal plants.
According to Theophrastus the plants that had names were those that were used by people. Initially plants had names consisting of one word. It seems that with the process of translation and copying some of these names changed (and some information was lost) and others are preserved. It would be many centuries until the Enlightenment of the 18th century, when with the contribution of classification systems scientific names would be given to plants in Latin. The letter L., which often follows a name of a plant genus, consisting of two words in Latin, refers to the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), who introduced the international plant nomenclature system.
Wild Mint or Pennyroyal - Menta pulegium L.
The aromatic wild mint, also known as pennyroyal, is one of the most fragrant herbs of nature. It belongs to the large Lamiaceae family and the Mentha genus.
History & Mythology
The doctors of the antiquity often mentioned it as a plant that had great medicinal value. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used it to treat colds, coughs, dysmenorrhoea, insomnia and sore throats. They believed that it stimulates the nervous system and heart. For many centuries the Arabs drank pennyroyal, because it was considered a sexual stimulant.
Pennyroyal, with its rich aromatic essential oil, relieves flatulence and abdominal colic due to gases. It alleviates spasmodic pain and soothes anxiety. It has sudorific, stimulant and emmenagogue action. Pennyroyal tea is aromatic and refreshing.
In Ancient Greece they added pennyroyal in their bath water because they appreciated its nice aroma and rich essential oil. In folk medicine, inter alia, it was used by smokers for the "cleansing" of the lungs.