Chronicle of Mood No. 17: Moroccan Herbs and Plants: Interest in Anti-Aging

Moroccan Herbs and Plants: Interest in Anti-Aging as Described by JF Bézot

1) A Sobering Reminder of a Bit of History

From my first year at the School of Pharmacy, where botany was taught to me, this poem by Guillaume Apollinaire comes to mind:
"God forbids forgetting the small ones down here, the flower that gently withers in the herbarium gives thanks to the one who saw it under his feet."

The physicians of ancient Greek, Chinese scholars, and especially the physicians of the Arab-Muslim world, such as "Ibn Sina, Dinawri, the great mathematician Al-Biruni, Ibn Al Bitar, Daoud El Entaki, Al Razi" to name a few, contributed significantly through their writings and research to propel considerable progress in the field of botany and herbal therapy.

The first collections of medicinal plants date back to 4000 years before Christ, in Sumerian times

- Hippocrates, 300 years BC, wrote a treatise on Medicine by plants (the Hippocratic Corpus).
- Pedanius Dioscorides (1st century AD) wrote the famous "De Materia Medica."
- The Greek Claude Galen, in the following century, is the father of Galenic pharmacy.
- Ibn Sina (Avicenna, born in 980), called the first sage, wrote the "Canon of Medicine," Kitab Al Qanûn.
- Moses Maimonides, born in 1138, left a monumental work on plants. By the way, this great rabbi is the precursor of psychosomatic medicine.
- The School of Medicine of Salerno, highly reputed, from the 11th to the 14th century published works on the healing virtues of plants.

In the fourteenth century, according to the medieval Florentine poet Francesco Petrarch, "Fame says that it was in Salerno that the source and fountain of Medicine."

This Tuscan was one of the first humanists, a precursor of the Renaissance, an inspiration for Ronsard.
- In the nineteenth century: discovery of opium
- 1862: Colchicine then Atropine
- 1869: Digitoxin
- 1887: Ephedrine
- 1930: Digoxin
- Then, starting from the 1940s and especially the 1950s, the great discoveries of synthetic drugs: sulfonamides, antibiotics, cortisones, and anti-inflammatories, etc., which saved the lives of millions of patients. The enthusiasm for these new products led to the almost complete oblivion of phytotherapy.
Years of intensive use revealed their dangerous side effects (iatrogenesis); and the awareness of some doctors to use them only when really necessary and to replace them with phytotherapy whenever possible.

2) From the Sources of Knowledge to Future Medicines

Empirical knowledge in traditional Moroccan medicine has been passed down verbally through generations and enriches thanks to a strategic geographical location between North Africa, the Sahara, and the Sahel.
The medicinal flora, particularly from the oasis regions of southeast Morocco (the Tafilalet region), has been enriched in biodiversity and origins by the mixing of Amazigh (Berber), Jewish, Saharan, and Arab-Muslim civilizations.
We must recognize the empirical knowledge of our ancestors!
This oral knowledge that fades from the computer memories of this new intelligence, Artificial Intelligence.
To write the hypertext of an expert system, however, requires a knowledgeable person... as far as I know.
Please... find me a phytotherapist, an aromatherapist, a homeopath practicing medicine in Paris.
In twenty years, they have all given up their plaques; some still consult at the borders of the country, like Voltaire and his garden; most have become nutritherapists or... aesthetic doctors.
Myself, a medical biologist, how many patients have I helped through the unconventional practice of aromatograms to relieve their cystitis resistant to any antibiotic therapy.
The Essential Oil was active or at least, like the key to a padlock, through its liberating action, allowed the action of the antibiotic at last.
There are not two medicines, but the use of simples is not favorable to the interests of carbon chemistry, petroleum chemistry.
Even more worrying is the programmed disappearance of an entire part of our civilization, and this on a global level... peasant farming.
We are going to lose an oral memory. This saddens me.
For me, a non-physician, medicine is a peasant's profession in the noble sense of the term.
When the branch is rotten, the good peasant cuts it (It's clinical medicine, the doctor signs the symptoms presented by the patient, tries to make a diagnosis confirmed or refuted by so-called complementary examinations (a histopathological section, a measurement, an image), then it's the chemical medication or the surgical operation); but the good peasant, before cutting anything, he clears, he enriches his Land, he takes care of his Terrain.
This notion of Terrain, the basis of Systems Biology, is this medicine otherwise, disruptive, ecological, and of Hippocratic essence, this medicine of longevity in a state of well-being and good health, the P4© Medicine (Personalized, Predictive, Preventive, and above all Participatory) often upstream of any clinic.
This medicine is developing partly thanks to the knowledge of epigenetics, which will shake many medical dogmas.
The genome proposes, the environment disposes.
This is the basis of Anti-Aging Medicine more focused on nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, the craftsmanship through the use of simples rather than on heavy allopathic artillery.

Dr. Jean-François Bézot (Pharm.) Medical Biologist
Mars 2024
By Luxe Magazine