Greek Gods-healers and Knowledge about Magic Properties of Medicinal Herbs

←2017. – Vol.10

Mykhailova O. G.

PhD., Associate Professor

Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, Institute of Philology



The article is devoted to the study of universal remedies, mentioned in myths about Asclepius, the God-healer, and to the search of its modern parallels in botanical nomenclature and medical practice. Asclepius’ cult has chthonic traits, which justify its archaic character and correlation with totemic myths. The God-healer was considered as the first to reveal herbs panacea, capable of curing not only any disease, but to prevent death. The analysis of descriptions of various types of such magic drugs of herbal origin, represented in 25-th book of Pliny the Elder “Natural History”, proved that three panaceas have links to Asclepius’ cult. One of the herbs mentioned by Pliny and widely used today in nontraditional and traditional medicine and also in homeopathy. In conformity with our hypothesis, this plant is known in modern botanical nomenclature as Centaurim and could be treated as universal medicinal herbs.

Key words: totemic beliefs, Greek Gods-healers, botanical nomenclature, medicinal herbs.


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