Malabathron in Ancient and Early Byzantine Medicine and Cuisine

Maciej Kokoszko, Zofia Rzeznicka

Abstract


This study of the history and applications of (malábathron), known as tejpat, suggests that the spice had an appreciable effect on Mediterranean medicine and cuisine. A significant increase in the interest in the plant occurred in the 1 st c. BC, though extant information on the dietetic-pharmacological uses of tejpat dates only to the 1 st c. AD, and appears in Dioscorides De materia medica. Malábathron never became a common medicament, nor a cheap culinary ingredient. Nevertheless, it was regularly used in medical practice, but only in remedies prescribed to the upper social classes. In Roman cuisine it was also an ingredient of sophisticated dishes. In De re coquinaria it features in twelve preparations.

 

Key words: History of medicine - History of food - Tejpat, spices 


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