Take the grease of a hedgehog and the fat of a bear and resins and fenugreek and sage and gum of honeysuckle and virgin wax. P – purslane, parsley, paprika, pepper, peppermint. You will find them in all kinds of dishes from meat, fish and fowl dishes to general salads. Roast it all and gather the grease and anoint him [the patient] with it.”, With treatments like this, is it any wonder that a friend wrote to Pope Clement VI when he was sick, c1350, to say: “I know that your bedside is besieged by doctors and naturally this fills me with fear… they learn their art at our cost and even our death brings them experience.”, “Take the juice of horehound to be mixed with diapenidion and eaten”. sage | savory | thyme | tarragon And then stamp [pound] it with boar’s grease and anoint the gout therewith.”, Poor owl! Cambridge University Press. Let’s go back in time say, 60,000 years ago, and take a look at the human species and what we know of our early way of life. You have successfully linked your account! Medieval Herbalism: Introduction to European Practices and Salves, Expanded Notes. They all now come with a health warning, so it’s probably best not to try these at home…. lavender – a disinfectant and insect repellant 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about the Middle Ages. lesser periwinkle – to relieve inflammation L – lady’s mantle, laurel bay leaves, lavendar, lemon balm, lemongrarss, lemon thyme, licorice, lovage, lungwort Spices were the privilege of the medieval rich. In medieval medicine, humoral medicine was a common practice. Looking for a nice salad to accompany grilled fish or chicken? R – rosemary, rue, ruta graveolens This herbal face mask recipe features demulcent or mucilage-rich herbs which are naturally moisturizing and help to balance the drying elements of the season. Y – yarrow, yerba buena Wagner C(1)(2), De Gezelle J(2), Komarnytsky S(1)(2)(3). Medieval herbal remedies: the Old English ‘Herbarium’ and Anglo-Saxon medicine. I proved.”. Modern science now utilises snail slime, under the heading ‘Snail Gel’, as skin preparations and for treating minor injuries, such as cuts, burns and scalds. Recent research has shown that snail slime contains antioxidants, antiseptic, anaesthetic, anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral properties, as well as collagen and elastin, vital for skin repair. Cameron, M.L. dittany – for digestive ailments, poultices The official website for BBC History Magazine, BBC History Revealed and BBC World Histories Magazine, Save over 50% on a BBC History Magazine or BBC History Revealed gift subscription, Just as we do today, people in the medieval period worried about their health and what they might do to ward off sickness, or alleviate symptoms if they did fall ill. In England, there was a long tradition of medical texts written in the vernacular beginning in the ninth century. In fact, the numerous extant medical manuscripts from medieval England suggest their popularity. Late Medieval - Slightly worse than industrial medicine from vanilla. These offer practical treatments for a variety of everyday conditions such as toothache, constipation and gout. N – nettle, nasturtium A typical, medieval English peasant family would have used herbs extensively in cooking as they were easy and inexpensive to cultivate. If you subscribe to BBC History Magazine Print or Digital Editions then you can unlock 10 years’ worth of archived history material fully searchable by Topic, Location, Period and Person. borage – for respiratory and stomach ailments Celtic Provenance in Traditional Herbal Medicine of Medieval Wales and Classical Antiquity. Though herbals were quite common in Anglo-Saxon medicine, the British Library's manuscript is the only surviving illustrated Old English manual. The twenty drink recipes mostly call for the infusion of herbs and spices into wines, which provided a method of preserving, flavoring, or sweetening wines that soured or spoiled quickly. Here are some of the most common herbs grown in medieval Europe and used in medieval recipes: angelica | anise | basil | betony | bistort | borage But the English words in this recipe do not refer to foreign or exotic ingredients, … Vervain’s glycoside [a class of molecules in which, a sugar molecule is bonded to a ‘non-sugar’ molecule] derivatives too are used in modern treatments for migraine, depression and anxiety, so once again the apothecary knew what he was doing with this recipe! The history of herbalism is closely tied with the history of medicine from prehistoric times up until the development of the germ theory of disease in the 19th century. “Take a fat cat and flay it well, clean and draw out the guts. Here are some of the most common herbs grown for medicinal use in medieval Europe. Put the mixture in a brass bowl and let it stand for nine nights, then strain it through a cloth. mugwort – for problems with feet You can unsubscribe at any time. T – tarragon, tetragon, thyme, thyme orange scented, tulsi (holy basil), turmeric When patients were ill, food and drugs – often plant-derived – were prescribed, taking into account not only the symptoms, but also his or her temperament, age, location, and time of year. 4 dozen orange peel. The Medieval Herb Garden from Chatelaine Designs - click for more. Shop Login Login. Wikipedia), purchased library use or free use (eg. 10 Ancient Medicinal Herbal Remedies That Actually Work MITCH BARRINGTON. But you can’t buy these herbs in the supermarket. chamomile | chicory | chives | coriander By revealing patterns in medieval medical practice, our database could inform future laboratory research into the materials used to treat infection in the past. And then let it be taken out and laid upon an ash board for to dry nine days and be turned about. These texts showed a surprising array of health remedies for women, including prayers, charms, incantations, and herbal concoctions. A typical, medieval English peasant family would have used herbs extensively in cooking as they were easy and inexpensive to cultivate. Here, historian Toni Mount reveals some of the most unusual remedies commonly used…. U – uva ursi The ingredients were infused ten days in ten gallons of 20% spirits; “then take 60 gallons spirits proof and run it through a felt filter containing 9 pounds red sanders, after which you run the infusion through; then add one quart white syrup and 10 gallons water.” (p. 62). Horehound [a herb plant and member of the mint family] is good for treating coughs, and diapenidion is a confection made of barley water, sugar and whites of eggs, drawn out into threads – so perhaps a cross between candy floss and sugar strands. To that end, we are compiling a database of medieval medical recipes. This isn’t blood at all, and certainly not from a mythical beast! Although rich nobles and wealthy merchants preferred spices in their food, they also enjoyed the more flavoursome medieval herbs such as anise (aniseed) in certain dishes. And at the nine days’ end, take and put it in an earthen pot and dry over the fire and then make powder thereof. Carlin Essential Oil Storage Hedge Witch Sacred Feminine Veg Garden Wise Women Healing Herbs Medicinal Plants Illuminated Manuscript. Put it in a new pot and cover it with a stone and put it in an oven and let it stand till it be burnt. Supposedly invented by St Paul, this potion was to be drunk. rosemary – under the pillow to ward off nightmares The recipe is now being further investigated as a treatment against the antibiotic-resistant MRSA bug, and it looks hopeful. Modern research has shown that it has antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-viral and wound-healing properties, and it is still used in some parts of the world to treat dysentery – but I’m not sure it could have done anything for epileptics or cataleptics. O – oregano Our gardeners have been busy planting herbs and flowers that the Carthusian monks could have grown here in the 15th century. And then eat it in pottage or drink it and it shall void the wind that is the cause of colic”. Keep the mixture in a brass pot until it is a dark red colour. X – xian he cao (agrimony) A – absinthe wormwood, aconite (monkshood), agrimony (cocklebur, church steeples), alexanders, allspice, aloe vera, amlika (sorrel), angelica, anise, apple mint, aralia, arnica, artemisia, avocado leaf, B – balm, basil, bay leaf, barberry, belladonna, bergamot, betony, bilberry, birch, bird’s tongue, bistort, blackberry, blessed thistle, bogbean, borage, bridewort, broom, burdock, burnet, C – caraway, cardamom, catnip, celery, chamomile, chervil, chicory, chives, cicely, cilantro, cinammon, clove, comfrey (or blackwort), common vetch, common yarrow, coriander, costmary, cotton lavendar, cotula, cumin, curry tree, cyclamen, E – elderflower, evening primrose, eyebright, echinacea, F – fennel, fenugreek, fern, feverfew, flax, G – garlic, germander, ginger, golden balm, good king henry, greater periwinkle Author. Mugwort has pungent smelling leaves and these were used in medieval times to make a foot ointment. thyme – to fumigate rooms against infection. All this crumble small and stuff the cat within as you would a goose. Sage – used in medieval cooking and medicine. Many also are used as medicine, based on recipes and formulas derived from careful observation and experimentation performed more than a thousand years ago by Islamic scientists and scholars. coriander – to combat fever Q – quassia amara (bitter wood) Picture caption: British Library, Royal 12 D. xvii, folio 54 verso, a page of recipes from Bald’s Leechbook (image courtesy British Library). The history of herbalism establishes that herbs have been around a very long time and that they are intrinsic to humans and animals. She is also a member of the Research Committee of the Richard III Society. common vetch – to supress appetite (seeds only) The extensive list of ingredients included liquorice, sage, willow, roses, fennel, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cormorant blood, mandrake, dragon’s blood and three kinds of pepper. Thank you for subscribing to HistoryExtra, you now have unlimited access. Please enter your number below. The reason was because herbs were not just used for their flavour in medieval cooking but people believed they held great value for medicinal purposes. There was a wide variety of medieval herbs grown in England and throughout Europe. Author information: (1)Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis, NC, United States. Try this purslane salad recipe! More ideas. Modern medicine still makes use of the alkaloid drugs found in betony for treating severe headaches and migraine. We know that Paleolithic humans were hunters and gatherers; agriculture was still far off into the future. Then, about night … It is believed that their diets consisted of wild game, insects, leafy greens, grasse… Pharmacy Apothecary Renaissance Nerdy Witch Age Collections Recipe Books. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to create a medieval medicines database in this manner and for this purpose. oregano | parsley | purslane | rosemary Save over 50% on a gift subscription to their favourite history magazine. Dec 14, 2016 70K Views. By entering your details, you are agreeing to HistoryExtra terms and conditions and privacy policy. Musk mallow was believed to have good anti-inflammatory properties whilst lavender was used as a medieval form of disinfectant. Then boil these together till they be like gruel then let him lay his haunch bone [hip] against the fire as hot as he may bear it and anoint him with the same ointment for a quarter of an hour or half a quarter, and then clap on a hot cloth folded five or six times and at night lay a hot sheet folded many times to the spot and let him lie still two or three days and he shall not feel pain but be well.”. hemlock – anaesthetic/painkiller ADD TO MY ARTICLES. Collins, M. (2000). It would have tasted nice, and sugar is good for the chest – still available in an over-the-counter cough mixture as linctus simplex. (For more about the humors, see my earlier post here.) Although this sounds like a real witch’s brew, most of the ingredients do have some medicinal value: liquorice is good for the chest – it was and continues to be used to treat coughs and bronchitis; sage is thought to improve blood flow to the brain and help one’s memory, and willow contains salicylic acid, a component of aspirin. Alongside is the type of ailment they were used to treat: anise – to combat flatulence ½ dozen calamus. Cormorant blood – or that of any other warm-blooded creature – would add iron for anaemia; mandrake, although poisonous, is a good sleeping draught if used in small doses, and, finally, dragon’s blood. Z – zedoary (white turmeric), treat colds, coughs and digestive disorders. (2006) Anglo-Saxon medicine. Also they could not afford to buy imported spices to improve the flavour of their food. mint – for stomach problems A nice, simple DIY remedy – and yes, it would help reduce blistering and ease the pain! We’re growing plants inspired by medieval monks across Europe with aphrodisiac, narcotic and hallucinogenic qualities and names like mandrake and deadly nightshade. Simple medicines consisted of a single ingredient – usually a herb – but if they required numerous ingredients or preparation in advance, they could be purchased from an apothecary, rather like a modern pharmacist. sage – to treat colds, coughs and digestive disorders Home Podcasts Articles Films Recipes Programs Shop. Some herbs, such as anise (aniseed), borage (photo above) and chamomile were grown for their taste in cooking and for their medicinal properties when digested. The annals of medieval medical history are full of substances that make us cringe. Take equal amounts of wine and bull’s gall and mix them with the onion and garlic. “To void wind that is the cause of colic, take cumin and anise, of each equally much, and lay it in white wine to steep, and cover it over with wine and let it stand still so three days and three nights. Recently, students at Nottingham University made up and tested this remedy: at first, the mixture made the lab smell like a cook shop, with garlic, onions and wine, but over the nine days the mixture developed into a stinking, gloopy goo. Though herbal medicines may not be right for everyone’s lifestyle, I have found the natural approach life-enhancing, self-empowering, inexpensive and safe. V – verbena, valerian, vanilla, W – witch hazel, wasabi, watercress, wormwood For a long time, medieval medicine has been dismissed as irrelevant. Her books, all published by Amberley, include Everyday Life in Medieval London: From the Anglo-Saxons to the Tudors; The Medieval Housewife & Other Women of the Middle Ages and her latest book, Dragon’s Blood & Willow Bark: The Mysteries of Medieval Medicine, which is out now. Paresian - Slightly better than industrial medicine from vanilla, a kind of Glitterworld stand-in for medieval playthroughs. Subscribe. It is the bright red resin of the tree Dracaena draco – a species native to Morocco, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands. Betony [a grassland herb] was used by the medieval and Tudor apothecary as an ingredient in remedies to be taken internally for all kinds of ailments, as well as in poultices for external use, as in this case. Each medicine is locked behind a research project, and each individual medicine is somewhat expensive to make. The ancient apothecary was right about this remedy, but it was one that needed to be prepared in advance for sale over the counter. Bald’s Eyesalve . In the 11th-15th centuries, herbs were far more important to people than they are to those who live in the modern world today. The typical diet of the family would have been quite bland in taste (pottage, a little meat or dried fish) and adding herbs made it more palatable and appealing. Yet people believed in these cure-alls and willingly took them when prescribed by a doctor of the Middle Ages. “Take equal amounts of onion/leek [there is still debate about whether ‘cropleek’, as stated in the original recipe, in Bald’s Leechbook, is equivalent to an onion or leek today] and garlic, and pound them well together.