Tracing Ancient Healing Practices through the Hibiscus

Publication Year:
2017
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Repository URL:
https://scholarworks.uni.edu/mcnairsymposium/2017/all/3
Author(s):
Tackett, Lyn
Tags:
Plant Sciences
artifact description
Abstract: By studying traditional healing practices, we can provide new information that may help solve archaeological mysteries as well as offer new perspectives to modern medicine. For example, Hibiscus tea has long been in use throughout Africa and Asia, yet little research has been done into the origins of this medicine and whether early cultures traded that information. Trichomes and plant morphology of three species of Hibiscus native to Africa, China and India ( Hibiscus sabdariffa, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, and Hibiscus syriacus) were studied using microscopy. The results were compared to known medicinal claims and ancient documents including trade maps and iconography.