It is surmised that prehistoric Man recognised a few properties in plants, but the first writings with the official recognition of plants as a source of well-being for people come from the great civilisations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Mint, fennel and Cardamom were some of the medicinal herbs used in Antiquity.
Although Pliny the Elder mentions in his writing gardens of plants grown for their medicinal properties, it was only in the Middle Ages that plants were recognised as medicinal in their own right. Medicinal plants were grown alongside herb gardens in monasteries.
Medicine was revived in the Age of Enlightenment which also led to sorting and isolation of therapies that before were considered alchemical elixirs. Local plants were grown and used in the form of herbal teas, brews and unguents. This tradition in France ended during the Second World War when the herbalist qualification was abolished.
From 1940 onwards, this field of knowledge was the preserve of pharmacists. Despite official obstacles, interest in more natural medicine has always been part of humanity’s existence and has recently become more popular as a further and vital bond between Nature and Man. Herbal medicine, aromatherapy and recently gemmotherapy (bud medicine)… lie at the heart of many fields in scientific research and have revealed only a tiny part of their secrets.
We all fondly recall herbal tea made with love by a grandmother or a moment of peace with a steaming cup with reassuring flavours. They are special beneficial moments which Nature gives us and are made possible through Pagès.