Studies of Neanderthal teeth have revealed some of the earliest known evidence of self-medication.
While it was once thought that Neanderthals would have eaten almost nothing but meat, new research has revealed traces of a wide range of foods in their diets including substances with primarily medicinal benefits. Some tartar samples have revealed ingestion of yarrow ( an astringent ) and camomile, a plant useful for its anti-inflammatory properties.
"It's very surprising that the plants we were able to securely identify were those with a bitter taste and no nutritional qualities - but known medicinal properties," said Karen Hardy of the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies in Barcelona.
"The tartar on Neanderthal teeth has a tale to tell."
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Source: New Scientist
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