|From: suite101 (an illustration from the Ebers Papyrus)|
"In the race to protect society from infectious microbes, the bugs are outrunning us. The need for new therapeutic agents is acute, given the emergence of novel pathogens as well as old foes bearing heightened antibiotic resistance.
Medical use of clay has a storied history. As early as 5000 years ago, clay was listed in the ancient tablets of Nippur as a wound-healing medicament. Around 1600 BC, the Ebers Papyrus -- recognized as the world's oldest medical text -- recommended clay for ailments including diarrhea, dysentery, tapeworm, hookworm, wounds, and abscesses. Clays came into common use in the 19th century as topical treatments for surgical wounds, demonstrating their beneficial effects for pain management, inflammation, putrefaction, and healing processes."
— Richard Harth, Arizona State University (Press Release)
"The Ebers Papyrus (approximately 1500 BCE), one of the two oldest maintained medical documents, [has] preserved for us [a] most extensive record of Egyptian medical history. In it, the Egyptians show a degree of knowledge of the workings of the human body, its structure, the job of the heart and blood vessels. The oldest well preserved medical document from ancient Egyptian record dated from approximately 1500 BC contains 110 pages on anatomy and physiology, toxicology, spells, and treatment recorded on papyrus. The papyrus also has many prescriptions showing the treatment of many disorders by animal, plant, and mineral toxins that still occur today."