A cooling herb would be used if you were considered to have too much blood or yellow bile, for example. The Medicinal Herb Grower – A Guide for Cultivating Plants that Heal, Volume 1 by Richo Cech. Southernwood which was known for its healing properties for gunpowder burns, is a small shrub with feathery leaves. Mesopotamia. English Heritage cares for over 400 historic sites around England. 4. Hyssop (Hysoppus officinalis) by Holger Casselmann (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0. It’s long-lived and slow-growing and prefers dampish but not waterlogged areas. . 4 Other flavors common in medieval cooking In medieval times, medicinal herbs were generally referred to by the apothecaries (physicians or doctors) as "simples" or "officinals". Another member of the salvia family, Clary Sage was also known as ‘clear eye’ and ‘Oculus Christi’ (Eye of Christ) as its main use was as an eyewash, made by infusing sweet scented leaves in water. Vegetables– from bogbean to broad bean, cabbage to calabash, squash to squirting cucumber! The staple diet of the peasantry was known to be unbalanced, lacking vitamins and proteins. Comfrey has a long history of use in medicine, and was grown in infirmary gardens for its power to heal wounds and inflammations and (as its nickname suggests) help to set broken bones. Photo credits: (Related Resources) Medicinal garden at Jedburgh Abbey, Scotland, Photo ©by Susan Wallace, 2000, mostly-medieval.com Related Resources The garden and orchard at Jedburgh Abbey in Scotland features plants and herbs for both cooking and medicinal purposes. Peasant rents were sometimes paid in cumin, along with hens and eggs. It can grow up to 120cm tall and has long, hairy, deep-green leaves. Modern herbalists use this herb primarily to treat upset stomach, colic, colds, fever, flu and diarrhea. Plants synthesise hundreds of chemical compounds for functions including defence against insects, fungi, diseases, and herbivorous mammals.Numerous phytochemicals with potential or established biological activity have been identified. The word dill derives from the Anglo-Saxon dilla which means ‘to lull’. From food to medicine, there's barely a step away, taken readily by the Medieval doctors, so powerless in the face of sickness, that no means to fight it off seemed derisive. Savory was somewhat prized for its aphrodisiac repute, but frost resistant hyssop, with its erect blue scapes, and sage, forwarded by its Latin name salvia, meaning that saves, were the favourites in that range of spices. About ... Spearmint was the original medicinal mint and was used to aid in digestion and the treatment of gout. Along with cumin and anise, its seeds were made into spice cakes to eat after rich meals or illness to help with digestion. This was used as a strong purgative for plague and poison, and as a holy water sprinkler in exorcisms. In Mesopotamia, the written study of herbs dates back over 5,000 years to the Sumerians, who created clay tablets with lists of hundreds of medicinal plants (such as myrrh and opium).. A monastery’s infirmary herb garden grew specialist plants that were used in medieval medicine to help the body heal itself. Properties and Uses of over 400 common herbs and medicinal plants listed by botanical or common names. The scent of this bush, mostly found in cemeteries, is so violent, that one can only wonder how it can be eaten. They express, in this sense, a more hidden part of the Medieval civilisation, as light as the aroma of acinos, but just as fascinating for who stops to it. In the medieval period sage was described as being ‘fresh and … While no original of this work written by Strabo himself still exists, four medieval … Fruit– the most common being apples, pears, quince, rhubarb and elderberry. Important. Of all medicinal garden herbs, surely one must recognize the mentha species as the most noteworthy of today's plants, being seen in everything from toothpaste and gum to a common tea. Since a large majority of the population didn't have access to spices (except pepper maybe) in the Middle Ages, housewives had to do with the growth of their gardens, to season all those porries and cabbage and lentil soups. One of the most important household duties of a medieval lady was the provisioning and harvesting of herbs and medicinal plants and roots. The wrinkling of the leaves would issue a rich and powerful scent. Aromatic herbs The herbal essential oils containing the medicinal properties go back to the ancient Egyptians whose priests routinely practiced herbal medicine. In French medieval cooking the word “frangié” or fringed, was a term for the sprinkling of saffron on certain dishes to produce a speckled effect. It's abilities to freshen the breath and settle the stomach are indisputable, and it's beneficial effects on headaches, digestion and nerves are also well known. If marjoram and oregano were indeed cultivated, in the manner rare flowers can be, wild thyme was never used, for instance. Comfrey needs rich, moist, alkaline soil and generally prefers shady areas. Mugwort has pungent smelling leaves and these were used in medieval times to make a foot ointment. This was once an incredibly popular herb, and used for curing anything and everything you can think of – including a few extras like fear, ‘violent blood’, and ‘chilly need’. Surprisingly, only few herbs of the Medieval cookery came from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, while nowadays, the famous mixed herbes de Provence are often the only ones used. Thus oxalis, at the beginning of spring, the hardest time of the year for the farmers, when the grain supplies were low or even spoilt by the cold season. Commonly Used Medicinal Plants: Aloe - Comfrey on Mostly Medieval - Exploring the Middle Ages Ballads Beasties Book of Days God and War Heraldry Medicine Sage is best grown in well drained soil with full sun and can be grown either from seed, from cuttings or from plug plants. Drunk in oil, wine or syrup, it was meant to warm away cold catarrhs and chest phlegm. A fun, historical read about many of the medicinal plants that are so popular today. A Guide To Medicinal Herbs. Medical prescriptions would often look like special diets, and the very same plants of the vegetable garden were found in the potions. It’s a biennial with purple-blue flower spikes from late spring to mid-summer and attracts honey-bees and other pollinators. ), Sage (Salvia officinalis) – by Isaac Wedin via Flickr/Creative Commons. New York: Routledge. Medicines in the medieval period were sometimes homemade, if they weren’t too complicated. It isn't so much about sprinkling a touch of parsley leaves with a light hand on a dish of meat, than about cooking parsley soups Medieval herbal remedies: the Old English Herbarium and Anglo-Saxon medicine. Salads of Lamb's lettuce, also called corn salad, were made at the end of winter; oxalis blooms in the woods and was eaten raw; burdock, nettle and orache filled the pots with free and delicious porry, and if need be, people would do with ferns of the asplenium scolopendrium species, with young wild asparagus sprouts or butcher's broom, with different kinds of (water or land) cress, with buttercups and even with bouchibarbe, a food for dearth, so hazardous for the empty stomachs. The eggs of parasitic worms would probably have plagued the guts of many a medieval visitor and eggs of parasitic worms were found in the old drains here, BUT always alongside a mix of tormentil – a herb that can not only help with parasites, but also contains tannin, chinovic acid, and glycosides which alleviate diarrhoea and internal bleeding. Pingback: De genezende krachten van kruiden | Circle of Life, Pingback: Comfrey Salve | Cecily in Tudor Thamesreach, Pingback: In search of Queen Victoria's favourite flower - English Heritage Blog, Pingback: What can history teach us about the language of flowers? Finally, it would be convenient to speak of all the other virtues of the good herbal plants. Take care when handling the plant – its sap can be a strong irritant. Alphabetical list of plants and herbs used to treat diseases in the medieval era, from dandelion to myrrh. })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); It was also rubbed on bruises to soothe them and had purifying, astringent and stimulant uses. Originally a Native American medicinal plant, archeologists discovered some evidence that echinacea may have been used by ancient cultures to treat infections and boost immunity. Planting your own herb bed or herb garden is a great way of getting involved, and broadening your horticultural horizons. These deficiencies were partially compensated by the green herbs and the vitamins they provided. In the medieval period sage was described as being ‘fresh and green to cleanse the body of venom and pestilence’. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ Its flowers, generally purplish but sometimes white, appear between June and October. Chamomile by Karelj – own work / public domain. Here are nine plants that you’d find there which you can still grow in your own herb garden today. Lion's tail also being a common name for Leonotis leonurus, and lion's ear, a common name for Leonotis nepetifolia. Once you have enough of them, chamomile flowers are good for making sedative and digestive infusions that also combat flatulence. Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) by H. Zell (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0. Ancient Egyptian texts are of particular interest due to the language and translation controversies that accompany texts from this era and region. Medicinal herbs Medieval medicine in Western Europe was composed of a mixture of existing ideas from antiquity.
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