“Custom is king,” proclaimed Herodotus (484-425 BCE). The well-practiced modern applications of herbal medicine in Greece easily demonstrate that his proclamation still holds true.

This cultural continuity of herbal customs  from ancient to modern Greece  provides insight into how plants can teach us timeless lessons about history, health, and the persevering character of nature itself.

In this presentation, we will explore the ancient and modern uses of four popular herbs: oregano (Origanum vulgare), mountain tea (Sideritis spp.), bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), and sage (Salvia officinalis).

By examining ancient Greek myths, ancient artwork, and scientific texts by Theophrastus (372-286 BCE) and Dioscorides(40-90 AD), we can understand howimportant herbs were in both sacred rituals and in the medical context.

Today, the Greek landscape continues to hold a bounty of possibilities to improve our health and to remind us of a fantastically rich cultural history.