Light has been revered since the dawn of time, or rather its main source: the Sun.
Source of life and abundance, eternity and wisdom, all ancient civilizations worshiped this star then considered divine. The solar deities are found in Egypt, India, China, Rome, the Aztecs...
In addition to the power of spiritual elevation conferred on the Sun and its light, there are specific data on the practices of heliotherapy, or the use of sunlight for medicinal purposes. We can then assume that similar knowledge can be found among ancient peoples.
Among the Egyptians, a testimony dating from 2600 BC. attributed to the legendary architect and great sage Imhotep describes medical formulas that demonstrate a deep understanding of the effects of light. We can see the beginnings of chronobiology, or the science of biological rhythms controlled by the solar cycle, thanks to the importance given to the appropriate time of day for each treatment.
This ancestral testimony mentions the sterilization and desiccation (process of eliminating water from a body) of food by the use of solar rays, as well as the photochemical potentiation of pharmaceutical preparations.
The Greeks practiced heliotherapy a lot. The link between light and health was clear to them.
In 450 BC, the use of solariums, places of healing based on sunlight, is described by the great historian Herodotus, who specifies that "exposure to the sun is highly necessary in people whose health must be restored. »
According to Hippocrates of Kos, the father of medicine (460-370 BC), light and its heat are of the utmost importance in treating a multitude of ailments (rickets, obesity, metabolic disorders).
Finally, the Romans, cultural successors of the Greeks, kept this link to light as a heritage. Roman law includes clauses guaranteeing a "right to light" in their homes, most of which have a solarium.
Soranus of Ephesus, one of the great Roman physicians of the 2nd century, prescribed sun exposure for babies with jaundice. It is thus the ancestor of modern treatments against neonatal jaundice using blue light.
Source: A. Martel, The Power of Light