I proved.”. 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about the Middle Ages. When researching herbal remedies, it is useful to consider formulations that came before your period of interest as well as those that followed to form an understanding of the transfer of herbal knowledge which occurred through the centuries. T – tarragon, tetragon, thyme, thyme orange scented, tulsi (holy basil), turmeric She began her career working in the laboratories of the then-Wellcome pharmaceutical company [now GlaxoSmithKline], and gained her MA studying a 15th-century medical text at the Wellcome Library. Subscribe. pixabay). 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. lavender – a disinfectant and insect repellant K – kale, kava rot, kelp, kola nut mint – for stomach problems “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. lemon balm | lovage | marjoram | mint The Puritan assault on Christmas during the 1640s and 1650s, 7 surprising facts about the history of medicine, Love, health and the weather: 9 things medieval Londoners worried about. In addition, many of these herbs had medicinal or therapeutic properties: sage was known to be antiseptic, stimulant, tonic, antispasmodic, and anti-febrile. Late Medieval - Slightly worse than industrial medicine from vanilla. 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. “Take a live snail and rub its slime against the burn and it will heal”. Five-Flavored Beet Hummus Recipe September 22, 2020 / 9 Comments / in Remedies & Recipes / by Rosalee de la Forêt Would this Anglo-Saxon recipe have done any good? Though herbal medicines may not be right for everyone’s lifestyle, I have found the natural approach life-enhancing, self-empowering, inexpensive and safe. Erin Connelly, University of Pennsylvania. H – hyssop, hawthorn, hemlock, hibiscus, hops, horehound, horseradish Each medicine is locked behind a research project, and each individual medicine is somewhat expensive to make. 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. Home Podcasts Articles Films Recipes Programs Shop. Mugwort has pungent smelling leaves and these were used in medieval times to make a foot ointment. I have compiled a list of herbs, both culinary and medicinal herbs, that are believed to have been used since medieval times. N – nettle, nasturtium 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. The recipe is now being further investigated as a treatment against the antibiotic-resistant MRSA bug, and it looks hopeful. The ancient apothecary was right about this remedy, but it was one that needed to be prepared in advance for sale over the counter. Collins, M. (2000). For some herbs I have provided links to non-associated, third party sites where detailed information is readily available. These offer practical treatments for a variety of everyday conditions such as toothache, constipation and gout. ½ dozen calamus. They also were believed to help ease ‘ladies problems’. (For more about the humors, see my earlier post here.) But the English words in this recipe do not refer to foreign or exotic ingredients, … rosemary – under the pillow to ward off nightmares A nice, simple DIY remedy – and yes, it would help reduce blistering and ease the pain! Also they could not afford to buy imported spices to improve the flavour of their food. We know that Paleolithic humans were hunters and gatherers; agriculture was still far off into the future. Celtic Provenance in Traditional Herbal Medicine of Medieval Wales and Classical Antiquity. X – xian he cao (agrimony) feverfew – to stop migraines 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. 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. By revealing patterns in medieval medical practice, our database could inform future laboratory research into the materials used to treat infection in the past. st john’s wort – to ease bruises, burns & depression angelica – to aid digestion She is also a member of the Research Committee of the Richard III Society. Though herbals were quite common in Anglo-Saxon medicine, the British Library's manuscript is the only surviving illustrated Old English manual. Perhaps it was the bed rest and heat treatments that did the trick, because I can’t see the ingredients of the ointment doing much good otherwise! 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. To that end, we are compiling a database of medieval medical recipes. Fennel, cinnamon and ginger are all carminatives (which relieve gas in the intestines), and would relieve a colicky stomach. 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. catnip – to alleviate respiratory tract inflammation Wikipedia), purchased library use or free use (eg. Wagner C(1)(2), De Gezelle J(2), Komarnytsky S(1)(2)(3). We’re growing plants inspired by medieval monks across Europe with aphrodisiac, narcotic and hallucinogenic qualities and names like mandrake and deadly nightshade. There was a wide variety of medieval herbs grown in England and throughout Europe. A typical, medieval English peasant family would have used herbs extensively in cooking as they were easy and inexpensive to cultivate. 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. Alongside is the type of ailment they were used to treat: anise – to combat flatulence 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.”. 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. In fact, the numerous extant medical manuscripts from medieval England suggest their popularity. Although some medical remedies were quite sensible, others were extraordinarily weird. 4 dozen orange peel. coriander – to combat fever A typical, medieval English peasant family would have used herbs extensively in cooking as they were easy and inexpensive to cultivate. 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. 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. M – marshmallow, marjoram, mace, milk thistle, milk vetch, mint, monkshood (aconite), motherwort, mugwort, musk mallow, mustard, myrrh Both anise and cumin are carminatives, so this medicine would do exactly what it said on the tin – or earthen pot. Althoug… The herbs dill and fennel could be used instead to the same effect – 20th-century gripe water for colicky babies contained dill. For a long time, medieval medicine has been dismissed as irrelevant. This remedy would have taken almost two weeks to make, so patients would have bought it from the apothecary, as needed. Please enter your number below. This is a medieval recipe for an ointment to cure headaches and pains in the joints: Take equal amounts of radish, bishopwort, garlic, wormwood, helenium, cropleek and hollowleek. You will find them in all kinds of dishes from meat, fish and fowl dishes to general salads. Then, about night-time, apply it to the eye with a feather.”. Sage – used in medieval cooking and medicine. ADD TO MY ARTICLES. My poached fish recipe uses fresh mint to good effect. The onion, garlic and bull’s gall all have antibiotic properties that would have helped a stye – an infection at the root of an eyelash. Learn to concoct simple home remedies with easy-to-grow medicinal herbs such as peppermint and thyme. It seems that medieval medicine got this one right. Looking for a nice salad to accompany grilled fish or chicken? 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. But you can’t buy these herbs in the supermarket. It is the bright red resin of the tree Dracaena draco – a species native to Morocco, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Herbs were used a great deal in medieval times for the treatment of ailments. “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. 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. You have successfully linked your account! “Take a fat cat and flay it well, clean and draw out the guts. “No one knows for sure how this manuscript was used or even where or by whom it was made,” project curator Alison Hudson shares. hemlock – anaesthetic/painkiller Paresian - Slightly better than industrial medicine from vanilla, a kind of Glitterworld stand-in for medieval playthroughs. 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). lesser periwinkle – to relieve inflammation Thank you for subscribing to HistoryExtra, you now have unlimited access. Keep the mixture in a brass pot until it is a dark red colour. Anise was particularly popular in fish recipes and was sometimes also used in chicken dishes. This isn’t blood at all, and certainly not from a mythical beast! dill | fennel | garlic | hyssop | horehound sage – to treat colds, coughs and digestive disorders V – verbena, valerian, vanilla, W – witch hazel, wasabi, watercress, wormwood The annals of medieval medical history are full of substances that make us cringe. It would have tasted nice, and sugar is good for the chest – still available in an over-the-counter cough mixture as linctus simplex. musk mallow – an anti-inflammatory herb R – rosemary, rue, ruta graveolens chamomile – to combat headaches Crystals And Gemstones Stones And Crystals Shadow Box D House … 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.