Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Historical Use of Plants

Aloe Vera
On June 11, we visited the Vatican garden in the morning. During our tour of the gardens, Dr. Lombardini showed us a row of plants that all had been mentioned in the Bible. One that stood out to me was the Aloe Vera plant, and he mentioned that there were medicinal uses for it. Looking further into it, I found that the earliest record of Aloe Vera dated back to 2100 BC. It is historically known for its therapeutic advantages and healing properties.

On June 13, a group of us visited Pompeii for the morning and on at the start of our tour we noticed a plant along the wall. Our tour guide Giuseppe had mentioned that they were immature pomegranates and they were used for medicinal uses back in the day. Upon further research I found that the pomegranate can be dated back as far as 4000 BC. It can be found mentioned in many historical records throughout many ancient civilizations. It had many uses including: food, the juice as a tonic to kill parasites, the blossoms to make red dye, and peel to dye leather. It is amazing how many plants have such important uses historically and can be found in different regions in Italy alone. -CML

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