Bookmark and Share



























Open the online Arabic language course






Silphium



Silphium

Plant native to Cyrenaica (Libya) with unique medicinal qualities, now extinct. It only grew in a region about 160 km long and at the most 50 km in from the coast. A wild growth, attempts to cultivate it were never successful.
A resin was extracted from the Silphium, used to treat cough, sore throat, fever, indigestion, aches and pains, warts and many other maladies. It was believed also to work as a contraceptive or to provoke abortion.
Silphium was the cornerstone of Cyrenaican economy for centuries, first among Greek colonists. A Roman expression stated that it was worth its weight in gold. Silphium became extinct in the 1st century CE. Reasons are not clear, it could both be climate changes as well as overharvesting.




By Tore Kjeilen