Modern researchers have discovered a flask of lotion which is supposed to have belonged to the Egyptian female pharaoh Hatshepsut. When this lotion was tested there were carcinogenic substances found which might have led to the death of the Egyptian queen. For the last two years this vessel was thought to have contained perfume but now it has been confirmed that it contained a skin lotion for treatment of skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis. The ingredients of this lotion include nutmeg oil and fatty acids that can relieve certain skin problems. But the lotion also contained a cancer causing tar residue.
Queen Hatshepsut died of bone cancer in 1458 BC. But her cause of cancer was never accurately deciphered until now. The studies also showed that most members of Queen Hatshepsut’s family suffered from inflammatory skin diseases. The queen got such a disease as a genetic gift from her ancestors.
Queen Hatshepsut ruled Egypt from 1479-58 BC. Scholars believe she was one of the most powerful and successful pharaoh’s in history. Her 22 year old reign was marked by peace and prosperity. She built a vast trade network and started various construction projects. She wanted to prove all her detractors for being a women unfit for being a Pharaoh wrong. So she summoned artists and had her portraits drawn with male body and false beard. But after her death all traces were removed from the history book by her stepson and heir to the throne Thutmose III. This is the reason her sarcophagus was found empty when Howard Carter discovered the queen’s burial chamber. But in 2007 Hatshepsut’s body turned up in another nearby tomb in the Valley of Kings. The CT scan of her body revealed that she had died of bone cancer.
It seems queen Hatshepsut poisoned herself while trying to soothe her itching or irritated skin. Thogh she might have got relief from itching by using the cream but she exposed herself to the risk of cancer over the years. Though many health remedies were available in Egypt back in those times, but the lotion used by Hatshepsut seems to have come from other nation. Though Egyptians were good general practitioners or surgeons but they lacked in the art of creating certain medications. Such a lotion might have brought for the queen from Persia or India specially.