Unsung Black Herbalists Pt. 1: Imhotep

As a celebration of Black History, I want to shine a light on a particular section of our history very rarely mentioned: Black herbalists. In fact, House of Imhotep was inspired by the great mastery and excellence displayed by the great Imhotep himself. In honor of these phenomenal ancestors, each week this month I’ll share an excerpt about 4 exceptional Black herbalists spotlighted in my book “The Divine Fiat: Black Excellence in Herbalism”. We’ll start with none other than our namesake: Imhotep.

(27th century B.C.)

The herbal practices implemented by Imhotep, the authentic father of medicine and science, whose name means “He who cometh in peace,” are the reason that modern medical practice exists today. Imhotep’s herbal practices for both medical and spiritual purposes are now ever-present. His principles silently paved the way for the enlightenment of generation after generation.

Imhotep was a multi-faceted genius, who was the first physician of Egypt and the architect of the first Egyptian pyramid. He was also a powerful sage, the father of ancient wisdom, a writer, a sculptor, a carpenter, an astronomer, a historian, and a high priest.


Over 2,000 years before Hippocrates, Imhotep founded Asklepion, the world’s first medical school. According to historical records, Imhotep not only diagnosed and treated gallstones, arthritis, gout, and appendicitis, but also 200 additional diseases, including 29 diseases of the eye, 18 diseases of the tongue, hair, skin, and nails, 15 diseases of the abdominal area, 11 diseases of the bladder, and 10 diseases of the rectum.

His medical prowess went far beyond diagnosis and treatment, since Imhotep was also a highly respected dentist and surgeon. As an expert of internal medicine, Imhotep was proficient in human anatomy, including but not limited to the circulatory system, and the positioning and functioning of the vital organs.

Imhotep’s ability to treat and cure a great variety of illnesses and diseases was totally derived from the earth, since he extracted and formulated all of his medicines from plants.

He even recognized the connection of the emotions to illness--how one’s state of mind and spirit could adversely affect one’s physical health. To address this, Imhotep was the first to utilize essential oils, resins, healing waters, and dream therapy. He was also the first to institute sanitaria to address illnesses of the mind and spirit.

His accomplishments in herbal medicine could fill volumes. However some of his most noted herbal treatments included (but is not limited to):

Acacia: to treat coughs
Aloe: to treat skin conditions
Cannabis resin: infused with honey and elemental metals for treat wounds due to the antimicrobial properties of the salve.
Castor oil: to soothe or regulate the digestive system
Figs: to soothe or regulate the digestive system
Hyoscyamus: to treat colicky babies
Juniper berries: to treat chest pains
Pomegranate: to rid the body of tapeworms
Saffron to treat rheumatism and arthritis

(excerpt from Chapter 2)

Imhotep initiated a practice that drives herbalism forward. He set the standard for excellence; a standard House of Imhotep continues to abide by in service to all of our customers.

To read more on Imhotep and other unsung Black herbalists, pick up your copy of ‘The Divine Fiat: Black Excellence.in Herbalism.’ here.


Miladys Ortiz

Excellent way to celebrate Imhotep’s true legacy! The fact that we still use his lessons is a testament to his greatness!! Thanks for sharing!

Cheryl Gourdine

I first heard about you from Art Cathey, and subscribed immediately via email. I knew a little about Imhotep, but you have further enlightened me. I so look forward to reading your book and becoming a dedicated customer of House of Imhotep. Thank you for sharing with all of us!

Debra McCarroll

Great info that u provided.. I appreciate the knowledge that u share.

Debra McCarroll

Great info that u provided.. I appreciate the knowledge that u share.

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