According to recorded history, suppositories have been in use for thousands of years. Suppository molds have been discovered in apothecaries that date back to the 12th century. Moreover, the use of cannabis as a healing remedy can be traced back some 5,000 years. 

The word “suppository,” derived from the Latin word suppositorum, means “something placed beneath.” This term first showed up in academic literature in the late 1700s and was meant to be a substitute for enemas. 

Documentation has been found that suggests that suppositories were used by Ancient Egyptians for easing gastrointestinal issues. It has also been suggested that medical specialists in the Ancient Babylonian culture gave suppositories to patients to treat hemorrhoids.

Another source claims that suppositories were invented independently by North American indigenous people, in pre-Columbus times. A small piece of wood from the dogwood tree was moistened and compressed and inserted rectally for relief of hemorrhoids.

The herbs used in the making of ancient suppositories were originally encased in soap or honey and allowed to harden. Eventually, the soap and honey were replaced with plant oils such as cocoa butter.

Discussion of suppositories and their application is still a taboo subject in many cultures. Interestingly, in spite of the delicate subject matter, suppositories are very popular in France, although the UK population tends to avoid them.

And while suppository use in the US is more widespread, discussing it with others is something some patients will avoid.


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