What Was Used as Medicine During Ancient Times?

Medicine has been an essential part of human life since ancient times. People have always been curious about finding ways to cure diseases and ailments.

In ancient times, people had limited resources, and the methods of treatment were quite different from what we have today. Here is a look at some of the things that were used as medicine during ancient times.

Herbs and Plants

One common form of ancient medicine was the use of herbs and plants. Many plants were believed to have medicinal properties, and they were used to make teas, oils, poultices, and other remedies. Some examples include:

  • Ginger: Used to treat nausea, indigestion, and inflammation.
  • Garlic: Believed to help fight infections and improve heart health.
  • Echinacea: Used to boost the immune system and fight colds and flu.
  • Lavender: Used for its calming properties and as a remedy for headaches.

Metallic Substances

Another surprising form of ancient medicine was the use of metallic substances. Metals like gold, silver, copper, and iron were believed to have medicinal properties and were used in various ways. For example:

  • Silver: Used as an antibiotic to prevent infections.
  • Copper: Believed to have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Gold: Used in Ayurvedic medicine for mental health issues like anxiety and depression.


Bloodletting was a popular form of treatment in ancient times. It involved making small cuts in the body or using leeches to suck out blood. This practice was based on the belief that diseases were caused by an imbalance of bodily fluids, and removing blood could help restore balance.


Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been around for thousands of years. It involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and promote healing. Acupuncture is still used today and is recognized as a legitimate form of treatment by many health organizations.


In conclusion, ancient medicine was quite different from what we have today. Herbs, plants, metallic substances, bloodletting, and acupuncture were just a few of the methods used to treat diseases and ailments.

While some of these practices may seem strange or even dangerous by today’s standards, they were based on the best knowledge available at the time. As we continue to make advances in medicine, it’s important to remember and appreciate the history of this essential field.