By Colin Barras
Almost 2000 years ago a young Roman woman living with coeliac disease was struggling to stay healthy – so she may have turned to traditional Chinese medicine in the hope of relief. Chemical residues found in her dental plaque suggest she took ginseng and turmeric, possibly to relieve intestinal problems. As both plants are native to south and east Asia, the find hints at an ancient trade in medicinal plants.
The woman’s skeleton was unearthed in 2008 at a site in Cosa, …
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