let your foods be your medicines, and your medicines your food – hippocrates

let your foods be your medicines, and your medicines your food – hippocrates

Hippocrates (460-377 BCE), the famous Greek physician who believed that the body naturally became diseased and that this disease was not caused by superstitions or by gods, spent 20 years in prison for opposing the authority figures of his day. While in prison he wrote, The Complicated Body, which included many medical theories that we hold true today. He is often referred to as the “Father of Modern Medicine.” Doctors today still take the Hippocratic Oath upon completion of their medical degrees.

Hippocrates used many herbal remedies in his practice and wrote the famous words “let your foods be your medicines, and your medicines your food.” In his writings, he preserved the medical practices of the Greeks and Romans. He incidentally wrote about the medicinal properties of willow bark and how it could be used for fevers and pain. During the 1800’s, scientists began synthesizing active compounds from willow to make aspirin.

During the Middle Ages, the Benedictine monasteries were a place for medicinal studies and where many herbs were grown, studied and employed in medical treatments. It was in these monasteries that the ancient Greco-Roman and Arabic writings on medicine were translated.

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