By: Brittany Conner, Shameka Newkirk & Allison Schoon

Past:

Head cold? Orange of rinds in each nostril. Seizures? Entire diet of milk for three months. Have a toothache? Electrify the tooth. Seems too extreme? Place clove of garlic in the ear instead. These remedies amongst many others were founded and published in the 1700s emphasizing nature’s ability to heal many ailments. In every corner of the globe where humans have existed, lies a wealth of knowledge on the healing properties of herbs. Herbal medicine, refers to using a plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Natural remedies can be traced back to the ancient civilizations of the Chinese, Egyptians, and Native Indians.

Around 1500BC Egyptians wrote one of the earliest known recorded medical documents, a 65 foot long scroll containing over 700 plant based remedies. Credited for discovering the healing powers of honey, tombs were found with jars of preserved honey and wall paintings portraying the importance of the sticky amber substance. Roots of the Chinese medicine dates close to the Egyptians, around 2000 BC and also documented their discoveries. As you can imagine, ginseng
was mentioned a lot! 

BrittShamekaAllie2.pngCave carving of Egyptian bee keeper

When colonist arrived to America, they were surprised to see Native Americans recovering from illness and injuries that were considered fatal. The Native Americans shared such remedies as Sage to heal ills of the stomach, kidneys, liver, skin and more. In return the colonist shared smallpox, an illness which Native Americans had no herb to cure.

BrittShamekaAllie3.pngPreparing herbs for leg ointment

Herbal medicine hit a rough patch during the Middle Ages. Medical treatment was a mix of herbs, superstition and religion. People saw the local wise-woman, a priest, or barber who also served as the local dentist. Some saw the use of herbs as witchcraft and doctors were looked upon suspiciously. 

As the years progressed herbal usage became widely accepted. Many remedies were commercially marketed to the public. Long before prohibition, medications contained alcohol to extract the essential oils from herbs, in very large amounts. People were healed from their ailments, intoxicated by healed. 

As we move to the present day, the allure of herbal medicine has become common place, turning to the cupboards, pantries and fields like generations past. The influence is felt throughout society, many industries sourcing natural alternatives to conventional methods. Through trial and error people have discovered what’s beneficial and harmful, constantly passing information down so we can continue to reap the benefits. 

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Cough Medicine circa 1800s

Present:

As time has progressed, herbal remedies have become increasingly popular. And, as Eastern medicine and Western medicine converge, the reputation of herbal remedies has gained more respect from modern day science practices. For these reasons, people have easier access to herbal remedies and essential oils. Popular companies include doTerra, YoungLiving, and Mountain Rose Herbs. All of which are trying to spread awareness about the benefits of herbal remedies. In addition, they have created different blends specific to their brand that help calm, focus, or, even, help in curbing ones appetite.

BrittShamekaAllie5.pngThere are also companies such as LearningHerbs that have created an herbal remedy kits to be mailed to homes and provide online courses in herbal remedy training.

BrittShamekaAllie6.pngCompanies are trying to make herbal remedies easier to access. But, in order to actually create your own herbal remedies from home-remedies that are specific to your personal needs-a lot of tools and equipment are needed. Herbal remedy companies use oil stills that cost $200 or more.

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And, if one does decide to make their own oil still, it’s messy and complicated. Most people don’t have the space or the time to do this. New inventions and innovations are needed to bring herbal remedies into homes so that more people can benefit from all that herbs and oils can do for the body.

Future:

The future is a reflection of health, productivity and happiness. Thankfully, the human race has the freedom to control these aspects in their lives. The human race will be forced to acknowledge the sick building syndrome and the effects it has on people around the world. Health issues associated with the sick building syndrome include, “building related diseases, when the symptoms of diagnosable illness are identified and attributed directly to airborne building contaminants” (2). Essential oils can help us learn how to naturally treat these sick building syndrome health related issues. I imagine that in the future most residential housing will have smart house technology, similar to the Nubryte system. The smart house technology will include a sector for home health remedies, focusing on essential oil tinctures. All of the Young living essential oils are plant derived, focusing on making the world a healthier place to live. One of the most powerful essential oil blend is called Thieves. “Thieves is a powerful combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils” (4).

Benefits include:

  • Swallow oil blend in capsule with water to support immune system
  • Put several drops in your dishwasher or dishwater to thoroughly clean dishes and eliminate odors
  • Earth kosher certified
  • Supports the body’s natural defenses (antibacterial)
  • Spicy, earthy, refreshing scent
  • Powerful antioxidant, beneficial to skin, cleansing and purifying properties
  • Support healthy respiratory system (helps purify air quality)
  • Soothe muscle discomfort after exercise

The Thieves essential oil blend is just one of many oils that can help eliminate the sick building syndrome and create a friendlier, healthy and productive interior environment. I’ve included two prototypes of the future below. We will have air diffusers connected to our smart house technology, within cabinets releasing the positive essential oil benefits into our home interiors. We will also have essential oil diffusers built into HVAC systems, automatically releasing the powerful benefits into our home and work environments. Numerous studies have been conducted to prove that certain essential oils such as Lemon, Lavender and Jasmine can make a more productive and happier work environment. Essential oil diffusers will be an essential component of future lives and HVAC systems.

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REFERENCES
  1. John Wesleys’ Primitive Physic
http://thornber.net/medicine/html/primitive_printable.pdf
  1. Herb history
https://www.herb-pharm.com/a-brief-history-of-herbs
  1. 30 Common Remedies
http://readynutrition.com/resources/30-most-popular-herbs-for-natural-medicine_06092011/
  1. Egyptian & Chinese remedies
http://www.aldokkan.com/science/herbal_remedies.htm
  1. Indian Herbs
http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-remedy.html
  1. Brief history of Herbs
http://www.theherbspecialist.com/history-of-herbalism.html
  1. Indoor Air Facts No. 4 (revised) Sick building syndrome. Available from: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/sbs.html.
  2. Purushottam K. The sick building syndrome.Indian J Occup Health. 2001;44:36–40.
  3. http://www.nubryte.com/
  4. https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/thieves-essential-oil
  5. http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/thieves-essential-oil.html
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