Modern medicine, as it is known today, was founded in the Middle East. From the 8th until the 11th-century Arab physicians laid the foundations of the institutions and science of medicine. They opened the first hospitals and pharmacies. And they also designed the early clinical drug trials. Did you know that their medicinal texts were used well into the 19th century? Many of today’s physicians are very interested in our ancient Bedouin medicine. They believe that it holds essential clues which they can use in their search for cures for today’s common diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetics, and cancer.
Ancient Bedouin medicine
Many centuries ago, our ancestors discovered the healing powers of a large variety of plants and herbs in the mountainous areas of the Arabian Peninsula. Their knowledge was used and handed down the generations. And their ancient ways of practicing medicine are still commonly used by us Bedouin today. In Wadi Rum, we have over 30 plants (herbs, shrubs, and trees) that we use for medicinal purposes. For both humans and livestock. Some we use to prevent illness. Others we use to cure diseases. In this blog, we give you seven examples of plants and how we use them as Bedouin medicine. Most of these plants grow in the mountainous areas of the desert, and you can see some of them while on tour.
We use this shrub to treat stomach aches and digestive problems like diarrhea. We boil water and add some twigs. After infusion, we drink it as a tea.
Babounej – Chamomile
We use this herb to treat lung problems and influenza. We boil water and add the flowers. After infusion, we drink it as a tea. In Western Europe, chamomile is also commonly used. Mostly for curing colds, sore throats, intestinal problems.
Hneedyed – Salvia fruticose
We use this herb to ease stomach aches and constipation. We boil water and add the fresh green or dried twigs. After infusion, we drink it as a tea.
Ja’deh - Felty Germander
We use this shrub/herb to treat a cold as it lowers fever and ease muscle ache. We boil water and add the green twigs. After infusion, we drink it as a tea.
Marameyeh – Sage
We use this herb to ease stomach aches. We boil water and add some leaves. After infusion, we drink it as a tea. Infuse for at least 5 minutes. You can let it infuse for up to half an hour for a more robust and powerful tea. You can infusion all herbs and shrubs to have a stronger tea.
Sheeh - Wormwood
We use this herb/shrub to treat skin wounds. We take some branches, macerate them with olive oil and make it into a paste in the mortar. We put the pasta on the injury, and we bandage the wound after.
Za’tar – Thyme
Come, see and try
We are more than happy to show you medicinal plants while we are on tour. Just let us know you are interested!
Mostly we add Marameyeh (sage) to our Bedouin tea. Sometimes we add a blend of herbs. Further, we serve Za’tar (thyme) at breakfast. Dip your bread in olive oil and afterward in Za’tar. A taste and healthy way to start your day!