"The Book of spices." In the Indian civilisation too, trading of spices has been integrally connected to its history. These cultures were familiar with caraway, onions, rosemary, and thyme and gradually became attracted to the Eastern spices. Use only as directed. Great knowledge and research, please do share if you have any further research on this topic as I am doing anthropology of Spices and herbs. He also applied a poultice from sesame to post operation wounds which may have acted as an antiseptic. Ancient civilizations did not distinguish between those spices and herbs used for flavoring from those used for medicinal purposes. They used them in medicine by oral consumption and for topical use on burns, lacerations, or other types of wounds. Other historical evidence suggested that cassia was an important spice in south China when the province "Kweilin," meaning "Cassia Forest," was founded around 216 BC. Around the 18th century, America officially entered the world spice trade without the burden of British taxes and trade restrictions. In many cases, this information reflects preliminary scientific research and additional studies are needed to determine what, if any, effect a spice or herb will have on a health related condition. Indian cuisine is known for its bold use of aromatic spices. It was used sparingly and often mixed with other, more readily available herbs and spices. They noted the varying scents, aromas, and flavors of the cuisine from the different parts of Europe, the East Indies, Asia, and around the world. cardamom and turmeric) were cultivated as early as the 8th century BC in the gardens of Babylon (Sinha, 2003; Tapsell, 2006).Susruta, an ancient surgeon (around 4th century BC) used white mustard and other aromatic plants in bed sheets to ward off malignant spirits. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1992. The British taxes and trade restrictions of colonial days no longer obstructed American commerce. Dioscorides created a more systematic catalog based upon the evidence of others as opposed to claiming that magic or the gods were behind the powers of these plants.9. These spices were used in surgical procedures as far back as the 4th century B.C. was found containing a lengthy list of spices used in cooking and medicine. He kept records on how to cultivate many spices and herbs (e.g., cardamom coriander, garlic, thyme, saffron, and turmeric). History of spices and herbs 1. Spices were used to camouflage bad flavors and odors, and for their health benefits. It was a really hard decision for us to make, but with so much uncertainty right now, it was something we had to do. They would later even use these methods for embalming.1Upon eating these wrapped meats, they discovered the flavors were quite delicious. Marco Polo mentioned spices frequently in his travel memoirs (about 1298). They bathed with spices and essential oils. Early history • Spice trade developed throughout South Asia and Middle East by at least 2000 BC (cinnamon and black pepper), and in East Asia (herbs and pepper). These merchants told tall tales about the origins of their goods and created a monopoly on many of them, like cinnamon and cassia. Over the years, spices and herbs were used for medicinal purposes. Peppercorns, counted out one by one, were accepted as currency to pay taxes, tolls, and rents (partly because of a coin shortage). It contains cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and peppercorns. He reported that the wealthy in Karazan ate meat pickled in salt and flavored with spices, while the poor had to be content with hash steeped in garlic. Spices were a key component of India’s external trade with Mesopotamia, China, Sumeria, Egypt and Arabia, along with perfumes and textiles – as far back as 7000 years ago – much before the Greek and Roman civilizations. Rosengarten Jr, Frederic. Spices and herbs (e.g., black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom) have been used by Indians for thousands of years for both culinary and health purposes. He mentioned in Hangchow, 10,000 pounds of pepper were brought into that heavily populated city every day. The encyclopedia of medicinal plants. Of the 400 herbal remedies utilized by Hippocrates, at least half are in use today (3). This worked for them until around the 1st century when Roman and Greeks realized there was huge inflation due to the deception. History of Spice Trade As evident from the literature, spices were an important ingredient in cooking, preserving food as well as medicinal purposes in the ancient regions of India, China, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Persia. They are particularly known for growing cloves, and the indigenous people historically planted a new clove tree for every child born.4. Early on, nutmeg and cloves from Moluccas were brought to China. World medicine: plants, patients and people. And they still help turn our simple meals into savory and flavorful cuisine. Ancient cuneiform records noted spice and herb use in Mesopotamia in the fertile Tigris and Euphrates valleys, where many aromatic plants were known. Pepper and other spices sifted through the fiber of Renaissance living. They used local spices heavily, as well as spices from the East and even Greece and Rome, collecting these from merchants along their trade routes. There are innumerable health benefits from a wide variety of spices that are also tasty and enjoyable to consume. It’s now known that this poultice may have carried antiseptic properties that aided in wound healing. They were used in cooking, wines, medicine, and for personal care. Coriander was used to enhance the flavor of, both, food and wine. Vegetable and sesame oil were also used by the ancient Assyrians.7. Arabic spice merchants would create a sense of mystery by withholding the origins of their wares, and would ensure high prices by telling fantastic tales about fighting off fierce winged creatures to reach spices growing high on cliff walls. The history of Indian spices is almost as old as the ‘human civilization of Spices ‘. Boston Tea Party Ship: Liberty Tea of Colonial Boston. During the 7th century B.C., King Merodach-Baladan II kept very detailed records of the 64 various plant species that grew in his royal garden. Medical writings of Charaka (1st century) and Susruta II (2nd century) referenced spices and herbs. The remedies were based on an extensive catalogue of spices and herbs and were more systematic than his predecessors (who based the remedies on magic and superstition). Early documentation suggests that hunters and gatherers wrapped meat in the leaves of bushes, accidentally discovering that this process enhanced the taste of the meat, as did certain nuts, seeds, berries, and bark. He utilized over 400 herbal remedies, and over half of them are still used today. The information provided herein is intended for your general knowledge only and is not intended to be, nor is it, medical advice or a substitute for medical advice. The guild included spice trade management, which included cleaning and preparing the spices for sale. Ancient Chinese myth suggests the medicinal use of herbs and spices began as early as 2700 B.C. Toward the end of the 18th century, the United States entered the world spice trade. Early Egyptians used various kinds of spices to prepare food, cosmetics and for embalming their dead. In: Steiner RP, editor. were known to carry cloves to freshen their breath before speaking to emperors. Bellamy D, Pfister A. Several sea voyages helped establish a trade route to India. The early history of spices. However, spicy seasonings can do so much more than just make food taste better. Susruta II also used spices and herbs such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, and pepper for healing purposes. SPICES HISTORY OF SPICES 2. The early publication mentioned more than a hundred medicinal plants including the spice cassia, which is similar to cinnamon (called “kwei”). Historically, this meant that ancient Egyptians had easy access to an abundance of spices from many regions. MSI does not endorse or provide any advice about prevention, diagnosis, treatment, or curing of any health-related condition. Your email address will not be published. A German price table of 1393 lists a pound of nutmeg as worth 7 fat oxen. Traders supplied cassia, cinnamon, and other spices and deliberately kept the source of their products secret. All rights reserved. Your email address will not be published. During this time in Babylonia, religion claimed that there was a god of the moon that held power over the medicinal plants of the Earth. Also, a cuneiform scroll from around 668-633 B.C. Although the origins of spices were known throughout Europe by the Middle Ages, no ruler proved capable of breaking the Venetian hold on the trade routes. The history of spices in India has some dramatic stories. Onions and garlic were fed to the one hundred thousand Support me on patreon maybe? The Moluccas, also known as the “Spice Islands,” are an archipelago of Indonesian islands. Spices have been an essential part of human civilisation. Spices played a huge role in trading for Arabs early on. For 4 centuries following the death of Mohammed, his followers (Mohammedans) created a flourishing civilization. Between 1797 and 1846 Salem, Massachusetts enjoyed a flourishing Sumatra pepper trade and profited immensely from taxation and sales. Herbs and spices taste great and do an incredible job of enhancing the flavor of our food. It was titled “Pen-ts’ao kang mu” or “Systematic Pharmacopoeia” and was authored by Li Shih-Chen. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that Polo’s accounts led to an increased international spice trade during the 13th and early 14th centuries. Spices have been around in conjunction with human use for millennia, with many civilizations in antiquity that have used a variety of spices for their common qualities. Some spices listed are anise, mustard, saffron, cinnamon, and cassia. Required fields are marked *. It was also carried by soldiers in their pockets as a sign of faithfulness to those left back home. They improved processes for extracting the scent from flower blossoms as well as distillation techniques for essential oils. Conquering tribes from Assyrians and Babylonians, Arabians, Romans, Egyptians, the Chinese to the British and the Portuguese, all invaded India with one goal – to take advantage of the rich natural wealth, and Indian spices. History Online. Spices and herbs (e.g., black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom) have been used by Indians for thousands of years for both culinary and health purposes. History of Ceylon Spices; History of. In the Early part of the middle ages (before the Crusades), Asian Spices in Europe were costly and mainly used by the wealthy. They used them widely in, both, cooking and wine. His followers in the Middle East continued this way of utilizing and cultivating cinnamon, cassia, and other spices for sale and trade. King Manual had a large influence on bringing spices to Portugal. Sumerian clay tablets of medical literature dating from the 3rd millennium BC mention various odoriferous plants, including thyme (5-7) A scroll of cuneiform writing, established by King Ashurbanipal of Assyria (668-633 BC), records a long list of aromatic plants, such as thyme, sesame, cardamom, turmeric, saffron, poppy, garlic, cumin, anise, coriander, silphium, dill, and myrrh. Med J Aust. Throughout the world, spices and herbs are frequently used in cuisine, largely to improve flavor and to provide new tastes. Courtiers in the 3rd century B.C. Onions, garlic, and shallots became popular condiments in Persia by the 6th century BC. Early documentation suggests that hunters and gatherers wrapped meat in the leaves of bushes, accidentally discovering that this process enhanced the taste of the meat, as did certain nuts, seeds, berries, and bark. Learn More: Pumpkin Spice: Fall’s Healthiest Seasoning (recipe included) NEWS: How Spicy Foods Can Help You Live Longer (and healthier!) They would later even use these methods for embalming.1 Upon eating these wrapped meats, they discovered the flavors were quite delicious. During the ancient Roman Empire, trading largely came from Arabia. Even before Europeans came to the Americas, the indigenous peoples were using herbs and spices for medicine, food, and personal use. Li was a pharmacist and the son of a medical practitioner.2. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Ceylon Spices. Folk medicine, the art and the science. Why not try growing your own, today? Some of the most common spices used in ancient China were: While many believe that cinnamon and cassia are native to Egypt, they are in fact native to China.3 Nutmeg and cloves were brought to China by way of the Moluccas. The United States used plants as the primary source of medicine from the time of the Mayflower (1620) until after World War I (1930) (Mahady, 2001). Fennel was used in vinegar sauces. Spices and herbs played an important role in ancient Greek medical science. Washington DC: American Chemical Society, 1986:125-137. He was the first leader to have farmers plant an abundance of culinary herbs (e.g., anise, fennel, fenugreek, and sage, thyme, parsley, and coriander). Near the end of the 15th century, however, explorers began to build ships and venture abroad in search of new ways to reach the spice-producing regions. The Romans were extravagant users of spices and herbs. An important person in developing and growing local herbs was the King of France and Emperor of the West, Charlemagne (742-814). Throughout Europe, peppercorns were accepted as a substitute for money (some landlords would get paid as a “peppercorn rent” (2). For thousands of years spices have been used across our Earth in many … The scroll serves as evidence that the spice trade was in existence at least 3,500 years ago. Ancient Persians also cultivated potent essential oils from many plant species, including spice plants. They are commonly divided into the categories of spices, spice seeds, and herbs.… The Mohammedans were outstanding scientists for their time. Medicinal Uses of Herbs and Spices. Garlic was heavily used in cooking by many ancient Romans and Greeks. When tea drinking became unpatriotic in Colonial America, spices and herbs were used to replace traditional tea. Archaeologists discovered traces of them in Egyptian tombs dating back to 3000 BC. When we think of Indian food, we think of spice and lots of it!