Ancient Natural Painkillers
As far back as 3400 BC, opium poppies were grown in lower Mesopotamia. The ancient Sumerians called the poppy Hul Gil (“joy plant”), suggesting that its euphoric and anesthetic properties were known to them. The knowledge involved in collecting poppies and extracting opium from them passed from the Sumerians to the Assyrians to the Babylonians to the Egyptians. By 1300 BC, the ancient Egyptians were cultivating their own poppies.