Navigation Links
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Date:4/13/2009

Egyptians may have been using herb-spiked drink for healing 5,000 years ago

MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- The old adage, "take a glass of wine for thy stomach's sake," may have been heeded more than 5,000 years ago in ancient Egypt, archaeologists report.

Sophisticated analysis of residues found in wine jars left in the tomb of Scorpion 1, perhaps the first pharaoh, shows that the wine had been steeped in herbs including balm, coriander, mint and sage, according to a report published in this week's issue April 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

That tomb dates back to 3150 B.C., explained lead researcher Patrick E. McGovern, a senior research scientist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology.

"This is the earliest evidence we have of herbs being added to wine," McGovern said. "The earliest previous evidence we had was an alcoholic beverage from China from around 1200 B.C. That one had possibly wormwood or chrysanthemum in it, or a tree resin."

There is no solid proof that the herbs were added for medicinal purposes, but the evidence points in that direction, McGovern said. "It could have been for flavoring, but we have a later literary tradition in Egypt of herbs added for medicinal purposes," he said. "It gets recorded in a medical papyrus in 1800 B.C., and now this goes back more than a thousand years earlier."

McGovern has been working on material from the tomb for many years. Scorpion 1 was entombed in Abydos, then the religious capitol of Egypt, about 150 miles south of Cairo.

"His tomb is one of the most spectacular from the earliest period," McGovern said. "It contained about 700 wines jars as well as food and clothing."

McGovern had done previous analyses of the same wine jar. The new report was based on highly sophisticated studies of residues in the jar, using techniques such as liquid chromatography mass spectrometry and solid phase microextraction. The initial analysis showed the presence of tartaric acid, and the latest analysis found residues of herbs.

The tradition of adding herbs to wine seems to have continued throughout early Egyptian history. A more recent wine jar, found in southern Egypt and traced to the 4th to 6th centuries A.D., was also laced with pine resin and rosemary, the researchers noted.

Medicinal use of wine could be expected because of the well-established practice of medicine in ancient Egypt. A 2005 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City was devoted entirely to medical practice in Egypt's Middle Kingdom, which flourished about 1900 B.C. The exhibit centered on ancient papyrus documents with instructions to physicians on wound healing, pain relief, and even the treatment of gynecologic or dental problems.

One expert was impressed with the new wine jar analysis.

"McGovern and co-workers have an amazing analytical accomplishment here," said Andrew L. Waterhouse, chair of the department of viticulture and enology (the study of wines) at the University of California, Davis. "These results further show that simple wine, as we know it, may not have been the most common beverage, but it was more often amended in many ways," he said.

Still, "it is difficult to know why the herbs were added," said Waterhouse, one of the world's leading authorities on ancient wines. "For medicinal purposes? To enhance the flavor? To cover up defects? All are possible."

More information

For more on wine and health, head to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Patrick E. McGovern, senior research scientist, University of Pennsylvania Museum Applied Science Center for Archaelogy, Philadlephia; Andrew L. Waterhouse, Ph.D., chair, department of viticulture and enology, University of California, Davis; April 13-17, 2009, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Second European Radiosurgery Workshop Yields Record Attendance
2. Cat Food-Linked Illness Yields Clues to MS
3. Wuesthoff Health System and Broadlane Continue Exclusive Relationship; Orthopedic Consulting Initiative Yields Significant Savings
4. Discovery Yields Cure for the Common Cold and the Flu
5. QHR, Gallagher Partnership Yields More Thank $4 Million for QHR Hospital Clients
6. GlycoMeds Discovery Yields Early Warning Test for Cancer
7. Study yields clues about the evolution of epilepsy
8. Innovative Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment Yields Priceless Payoff
9. Latest Generation of Products From Z-Medica - Hemostatic Gauze - Yields New At-Home Nosebleed Treatment
10. Healthcare Consulting Leader QHR, Strategic Health Care, Sen. Roger Wicker Partnership Yields $500,000 Grant for King's Daughters Medical Center
11. Schizophrenia Yields Some Genetic Secrets
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... “Prompted By Love”: a love story thrown into doubt ... Nettles. Author Mary P. Nettles has devoted her life to ministry since the ... lifelong desire to write was, however, not fulfilled until 2014 when "The Color of ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... ... “Case #10-5411 Veterans Administration”: a personal account of corruption ... Administration” is the creation of published author, Carol Mulhern, single mother of two ... work at the Coatesville VAMC as a file clerk then later became the ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... August 17, 2017 , ... Shared leadership between ... extremely effective, very effective, or effective by 85% of respondents, according to the ... Insights Reports are based on surveys of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council, a ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... August 17, 2017 , ... When Amy Cowperthwait left the ... took with her a dream to make nursing education more relevant and prepare aspiring ... skills were integrated into healthcare provider education. , “The human element was ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... August 17, 2017 , ... CARF ... three years for its residential drug and alcohol detox program. This accreditation decision ... and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. , Behavioral health ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)...  AOTI Inc. announced today that its fully owned ... a New York City Office in Yonkers, New York ... Wound Oxygen (TWO 2 ) homecare therapy. This new East Coast ... Care (ACHC) under the company,s DMEPOS accreditation for Home/Durable Medical Equipment ... Advanced Oxygen Therapy ...
(Date:8/8/2017)... --   Second-quarter 2017 revenues ... per share from continuing operations ... percent to $110 million ... $161 million Second-quarter 2017 ... increased 8 percent to $0.93 ...
(Date:8/7/2017)...  Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) ... all known U.S. mesh product liability claims and that ... remaining U.S. claims at reasonable values. Under the agreements, ... quarter of 2017 and continuing through the fourth quarter ... results, the Company intends to increase its mesh product ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: