Medieval Trivia: Medicinal Plants of Medieval Europe

currently playing on my iPod: Intro by xx

Medieval folk were big on plants. You would be too if you didn’t have a Walgreens on every other corner. Here’s a very small list of some of the growing things used in medieval times.

Hart’s Tongue – cure gout, cool fevers, remove warts, mix with wine to make an antidote for snakebites, cure dysentery, fix diarrhea, and clear the eyes…wow.

Blessed Thistle – cure for plague…that’s pretty important…might want to hold on to that one.

Mugwort – ease flu symptoms, head off parasites, cure women’s diseases, fend off wild beasts, sorcery, and fatigue (Medieval Red Bull?)

Yarrow – heal wounds and infections.

Butcher’s broom – diuretic, breaks up bladder stones, gave an important royal line their name–Planta genista–Plantagenet. Geoffrey of Anjou wore the plant in his hat during battles. He fathered Henry and his well known kids: Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland and a few others.

Calendula (Marigold) – treat wounds, stomach problems, insect bites, and infections. also a known aphrodisiac.

Sage (Salvia) – a cure all. really important in the medieval garden. also an aphrodisiac.

Lady’s Mantle – treats wounds but more importantly was a component in alchemists’ attempts at a potion for eternal youth.

Nutmeg – cure for epilepsy and eye diseases, increases potency in men, and, this is strange, protects one from injuries due to falling.

Thyme – treatment for respiratory problems, burns, and sprains. protects wearer from witchcraft, increases courage, and, get this, is a core ingredient in a potion used to see fairies.

So get into the garden, people. You might just see fairies, get lucky, never tire, and stay young eternally. That’s almost enough reason to get me weeding.

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