Neanderthal self-medication in context

@article{Hardy2013NeanderthalSI,
  title={Neanderthal self-medication in context},
  author={Karen Hardy and Stephen Buckley and Michael Alan Huffman},
  journal={Antiquity},
  year={2013},
  volume={87},
  pages={873 - 878}
}
In a recent study, Hardy et al. (2012) identified compounds from two non-nutritional plants, yarrow and camomile, in a sample of Neanderthal dental calculus from the northern Spanish site of El Sidrón. Both these plants are bitter tasting and have little nutritional value but are well known for their medicinal qualities. Bitter taste can signal poison. We know that the bitter taste perception gene TAS2R38 was present among the Neanderthals of El Sidrón (Lalueza-Fox et al. 2009), and their… 
Doctors, chefs or hominin animals? Non-edible plants and Neanderthals
TLDR
Two recent articles offer alternative scenarios for why and how those plants may have reached the mouth and, eventually, the dental calculus of the individual concerned, and consider their probability and feasibility as alternatives to the original proposal of self-medication.
Flavouring food: the contribution of chimpanzee behaviour to the understanding of Neanderthal calculus composition and plant use in Neanderthal diets
TLDR
Observations of wild chimpanzees in Uganda, at Sonso in the Budongo Forest Reserve and at Kanyawara and Sebitoli in Kibale National Park, as well as ethnological and palaeontological evidence, lead us to propose three other explanations for the presence of compounds in yarrow and camomile.
Dental Calculus Reveals Unique Insights into Food Items, Cooking and Plant Processing in Prehistoric Central Sudan
TLDR
It is demonstrated the ingestion in both pre-agricultural and agricultural periods of Cyperus rotundus tubers and its ability to inhibit Streptococcus mutans may have contributed to the unexpectedly low level of caries found in the agricultural population.
Medicinal Properties in the Diet of Tibetan Macaques at Mt. Huangshan: A Case for Self-Medication
TLDR
The hypothesize on the possible scope of self-medication in Tibetan macaques and suggest future avenues for research are hypothesized.
Paleomedicine and the Evolutionary Context of Medicinal Plant Use
  • K. Hardy
  • Psychology
    Revista brasileira de farmacognosia : orgao oficial da Sociedade Brasileira de Farmacognosia
  • 2020
Modern human need for medicines is so extensive that it is thought to be a deep evolutionary behavior. There is abundant evidence from our Paleolithic and later prehistoric past, of survival after
Paleomedicine and the use of plant secondary compounds in the Paleolithic and Early Neolithic
  • K. Hardy
  • Environmental Science
    Evolutionary anthropology
  • 2019
TLDR
A broad‐spectrum approach to plant collection is likely to have been in place throughout the Paleolithic driven, in part, by the need for medicinal compounds.
The Odyssey of Dental Anxiety: From Prehistory to the Present. A Narrative Review
TLDR
Iatrosedation and hypnosis are no less relevant than drugs and should be considered as primary tools for the management of DA: they allow to help patients cope with the dental procedure and also overcome their anxiety: achieving the latter may enable them to face future dental care autonomously, whereas pharmacological sedation can only afford a transient respite.
Neanderthals, trees and dental calculus: new evidence from El Sidrón
Abstract Analysis of dental calculus is increasingly important in archaeology, although the focus has hitherto been on dietary reconstruction. Non-edible material has, however, recently been
...
1
2
3
4
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 55 REFERENCES
Current evidence for self-medication in primates: A multidisciplinary perspective
TLDR
Insight is provided into the evolution of medicinal behavior in modern humans and the possible nature of self-medication in early hominids with the existence of an underlying mechanism for the recognition and use of plants and soils with common medicinal or functional properties.
Neanderthal medics? Evidence for food, cooking, and medicinal plants entrapped in dental calculus
TLDR
The varied use of plants that are identified suggests that the Neanderthal occupants of El Sidrón had a sophisticated knowledge of their natural surroundings which included the ability to select and use certain plants.
Observations on the illness and consumption of a possibly medicinal plantVernonia amygdalina (Del.), by a wild chimpanzee in the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania
TLDR
The female was recognized to be in irregular health at the time of consumption, exhibiting signs of lethargy, lack of appetite, and irregularity of bodily excretions, which suggest that for chimpanzees, the consumption of this plant is primarily medicinal.
Microfossils in calculus demonstrate consumption of plants and cooked foods in Neanderthal diets (Shanidar III, Iraq; Spy I and II, Belgium)
TLDR
Direct evidence is reported for Neanderthal consumption of a variety of plant foods, in the form of phytoliths and starch grains recovered from dental calculus of Neanderthal skeletons from Shanidar Cave, Iraq, and Spy Cave, Belgium, suggesting an overall sophistication in Neanderthal dietary regimes.
Animal self-medication and ethno-medicine: exploration and exploitation of the medicinal properties of plants
  • M. Huffman
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
  • 2003
TLDR
In light of the growing resistance of parasites and pathogens to synthetic drugs, the study of animal self-medication and ethno-medicine offers a novel line of investigation to provide ecologically-sound methods for the treatment of parasites using plant-based medicines in populations and their livestock living in the tropics.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES IN THE DIET OF GORILLAS: AN ETHNO-PHARMACOLOGICAL EVALUATION
TLDR
The ethnopharmacological literature is reviewed to evaluate the possible role of plant secondary compounds in the diet of gorillas in the wild and how these plants can be used for health maintenance.
Bitter taste perception in Neanderthals through the analysis of the TAS2R38 gene
TLDR
Variation in bitter taste perception pre-dates the divergence of the lineages leading to Neanderthals and modern humans, and has been used to explain the current high non-taster frequency, by maintaining divergent TAS2R38 alleles in humans.
A Review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L.)
TLDR
Evidence‐based information regarding the bioactivity of this herb is presented, and animal model studies indicate potent antiinflammatory action, some antimutagenic and cholesterol‐lowering activities, as well as antispasmotic and anxiolytic effects.
Further Obervations on the Use of the Medicinal Plant, Vernonia amygdalina (Del). By a Wild Chimpanzee, Its Possible Effect on Parasote Load, and Its Phytochemistry
TLDR
New evidence for the effectiveness of medicinal plant use in primates is provided and the current hypothesis regarding the use of V. amygdalina for the control of symptoms from parasitic and gastrointestinal illness by wild chimpanzees is strongly supported.
Self-Medicative Behavior in the African Great Apes: An Evolutionary Perspective into the Origins of Human Traditional Medicine
TLDR
By observing a similarly sick young porcupineingest the roots of Mulengelele, a growing body of scientific evidence has been gathered in support of animal self-medication, or zoopharmacognosy (Huffman 1997); and putting these lessons ofevolutionary medicine to practical use for humans.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...