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The information on this page is presented for use in the Ars Magica fantasy role-playing game, with thanks to Jarkko Kuisma and Sheila Thomas.


Medicinal and Magical Herbs of Medieval Europe

Translated by Jarkko Kuisma from the notes of Bernat of Catalonia

  1. The Healing Potions
  2. Acquiring the Ingredients
  3. The Herb List
  4. List of Books

1.The Healing Potions

A healing potion adds +1 to chirurgy, medicine and wound recovery rolls.

These potions are quite easy to make and a skillful healer can craft several potions a day.

Cunning-folk ("Hedge Magic" pp. 34-40)
can create a wide range of Magical Potions by spending a full Season of work, with a Lab Total of Int + Herbalism + Herbalism bonuses + Folk Magic + Aura. [See Hedge Magic p.34 & the main Potion rules: ArM4 pp 88-89.]

Natural Magicians ("Hedge Magic" pp. 41-44)
can create Magical Potions by spending a full Season of work, with a Lab Total of Int + Alchemy + Alchemy bonuses + Philosophiae + Aura. [Hedge Magic p.41]

These potions benefit from the Form & Effect bonuses which many Herbs offer.

Cunning Folk can also create Minor Potions in an hour (if the herbs are to hand) or two hours (if they must gather herbs): roll Int + Herbalism against an Ease Factor of 9 (but only roll when the potion is consumed). A Minor Potion adds the (maker's Herbalism Score + Herbalism bonuses)/2 to the ability in question for the next full day. [Hedge Magic p.35]

Natural Magicians can create an Alchemical medicine (adds Alchemy + Alchemy bonus to Medicine rolls) with a few hours work. [Hedge Magic p.42]

An appropriate Herb can improve a Minor Potion or Medicine bonus: add (Form & Effect bonus)/2 to the Herbalism or Alchemy bonus score.

Typical ingredients of the healing potions are:

2. Acquiring the Ingredients

Cultivation is naturally the easiest - and sometimes the only - way to acquire the necessary ingredients. In fact, most of the herbs that are listed below were commonly cultivated in the gardens of the monasteries and royal estates of Medieval Europe. This cultivation was greatly enhanced by the 'Capitulare de Villes' where Charlemagne ordered that certain medicinal plants should be cultivated in his kingdom. Little by little some of these plants also found their way into the kitchen gardens of the commoners.

If your garden is mediocre at best, the healer may attempt to gather some or most of the necessary ingredients from the surrounding area.

To be successful, the gatherer must roll Herbalism + Perception stress roll vs. an Ease Factor that is modified by the gathering location.

For example, if your covenant is located in Southern Europe, the Ease Factor tends to be lower (3-9). But if you live in Russia, it will be well-nigh impossible to find, say sage, from the nearby hill. Likewise, it's quite futile to search for daftodi (a plant of the mountains) in a swamp or cowbane in the desert.

Hermetic Magi may find Hunt for the Wild Herb (InHe level 15) to be useful...

3. The Herb List

Key:
P used for a deadly plant. Used as a painkiller
mp used for mild poison
M used for a magical plant
W used for a herb that was used as a remedy for wounds
F used for a herb that was used as a remedy for fractures
B used for a herb that was used as a remedy for burns
A used for a herb that was an "all-heal"
ALDER / (leppa) -B
Medicinal use: burns (bark)
ANGELICA / (Angelica Archangelica) - M
Medicinal use: plague, respiratory diseases
Magic & beliefs: It was believed that plant would protect a person who carried it from witchcraft
Historical notes: According to legend, Archangel Gabriel revealed the powers of this Nordic plant to the Benedictine monks hence its Latin name Angelica Archangelica. Angelica was the only medicinal plant that was brought from Scandinavia to Central and Southern Europe. During the Middle Ages it was commonly cultivated in monasteries.
ANISE / (anis) - A
Medicinal use: all-heal. (e.g. all poisonous bites and stings)
APPLE TREES
Medicinal use: eye diseases, fever, gout, heart diseases, stomach troubles
Historical notes: a related species, quince, was very common in medieval monasteries.
ARNICA - W
Medicinal use: bruises, wounds (crushed root & flowers )
BARLEY / (ohra) - B
Medicinal use: burnt barley seeds and eggs were recommended as a remedy for burns. The bag of hot seeds was used used externally to kill pain.
BASIL / (basilika) - M
Medicinal use: scorpion bites, stomach troubles. It was also used to drive away flies.
Magic & beliefs: Aphrodisiac. In addition, it was believed that basil bred scorpions. According to one recipe " three crushed leaves are put under a clay pot. After a few days a tiny scorpion will be born ". With the help of basil one could also summon scorpions. Pliny claimed that a handful of basil pounded with 10 sea crabs would do the trick.
BLESSED THISTLE / (Gnicus Benedictus) - - mp
Medicinal use: Together with butterbur, the plant was considered to be the most effective remedy for plague.
Historical notes: As the Latin name hints, this thorny bush was very common in medieval monasteries.
BUCKBEAN
Medicinal use: appetite and digestive problems, intestinal worms
Historical notes: Buckbean was among the most important medicinal plants of Medieval Europe.
BURNET SAXIFRAGE
Medicinal use: Chewing the root of this plant was believed to keep off plague. It was also used as a remedy for cough and sore throat.
BUTTERBUR - W
Medicinal use: This huge plant was perhaps the most important medicine against plague. Therefore it is no wonder that it was commonly cultivated in the monastic gardens.
CABBAGE
Medicinal use: diarrhoea, eye diseases, kidney problems, stomach ailments
Magic & beliefs: It was claimed that cabbage would prevent drunkenness and hangover
CAPER / (kapris)
Medicinal use: parasites, paralysis
CARAWAY / (kumina) - M
Medicinal use: scorpion stings, snake bites, fever, respiratory diseases, digestive problems, stomach troubles
Magic & beliefs : Caraway was an important ingredient in love potions. It also offered protection from the evil eye. In addition, it prevented mischievous spirits and thieves from entering the house.
CENTAURY - W
Medicinal use: wounds, sprains
Misc. history: very common herb in medieval monasteries
CHAMOMILE
Medicinal use: fatigue, fever, snake bites. Women used it to ease the pains of labour
CHERRY TREE
Medicinal use: cough, eye diseases, fever, stomach problems
CHERVIL
Medicinal use: burns, bad dreams, stomach ailments
CHICKWEED
Medicinal use: skin diseases
CHICORY - M
Magic & beliefs: according to Pliny "those who have anointed themselves with the juice of chicory, mixed with oil, become more popular and obtain their requests more easily."
CHIVES
Medicinal use: cough, respiratory diseases
CLOVES - M
Medicinal use: plague
Magic & beliefs: aphrodisiac
COLTSFOOT - W
Medicinal use: Inhaling the smoke of the burning leaves was believed to be an effective remedy for cough and other respiratory diseases. It was also used to cure wounds.
COMMON COMFREY - B, F, W
Medicinal use: burns, fractures, wounds, pain killer
Historical notes: Arabs introduced this plant to crusaders, who brought it to Europe. It was a fairly important herb in Medieval Europe.
COMMON RUE - A, W, M
Medicinal use: all-heal
Magic & beliefs: Rather powerful plant. For example, Pliny tells us that person who carries it is never bitten by venomous creatures. His argumentation was based on "fact" that "weasels, when about to fight with serpents, eat rue." Thanks to this story and the awful smell of the plant, it was believed to be an antidote against all kinds of poisons. In addition to this, Ibn Botlan reminds us that rue "will turn off the light of Venus". It was also thought to have a power to repel evil spirits. And finally it protected people from plague and other deadly epidemics.
Historical notes: Charlemagne mentioned it and it was quite common in the monasteries (e.g. at Saint Gallen in the 10th century)
CORIANDER - M
Medicinal use: cramps, paralysation, sleeplessness, cough, plague, worms
Magic & beliefs: Coriander was believed to improve memory. In addition it was claimed that coriander would cure libidinous patients. Oddly enough, some scholars tell us that it also increased potency.
COWBANE - P , M
Medicinal use: Cowbane is a very poisonous plant and internal use will quite often lead to a painful death. The symptoms are cramps, hallucinations and eventually paralysis of the respiratory organs. Despite the dangers, this herb was used as a pain killer and also as a remedy for epilepsy and cramps.
Magic & beliefs: Among the most important plants of medieval witchcraft
Historical notes: Because of its believed ability to check sexual desire the plant was commonly cultivated in the monastic gardens
COWSLIP
Medicinal use: paralysation, strokes
Magic & beliefs: important magical plant
CRESS
Medicinal use: Remedy for cough, eye diseases, parasites, respiratory diseases, restlessness, scorpion stings
Magic & beliefs: According to Pliny, the smoke of burning cress keeps away serpents
CUCUMBER
Medicinal use: Remedy for fever, infections.
CYPRESS/ - (cypressi) - W
Medicinal use: Remedy for the poison of spiders, scorpion stings, snake bites, wounds,
DAFTODI / (narcissus) - mp, B, W
Medicinal use: crushed root was used externally to heal burns, sprains and wounds
DEADLY NIGHTSHADE, BELLADONNA (belladonna) - P, M
Medicinal use : pain killer, nervousness
Magic & beliefs : Deadly nightshade, devil's herb, enchanter's nightshade. All these names reflect the bad reputation that this plant has had for centuries. Just for example, an unknown Greek scholar tells us that even a small amount of this notorious plant can cause madness. Another reveals that one dose will cause hallucinations, two downright insanity and three an instant death. So, it is no wonder that such a deadly and hallucinogenic herb was - together with henbane, cowbane, mandrake and monkshood - among the most important plants of Medieval witchcraft. Assassins, though, preferred other herbs because the symptoms of the belladonna poisoning were pretty commonly known.
Historical notes In Italy, women used to wash their eyes with a diluted juice of deadly nightshade in order to enhance their beauty (this treatment enlarged the pupils). Hence it's other name, belladonna.
DILL
Medicinal use: eye diseases, stomach ailments
Magic & beliefs: Dill protected people from witchcraft. In addition, if one placed the seeds of the plant in one's shoe before entering the court room, one would win the case.
DRAGOON - M
Medicinal use: snakebites
Magic & beliefs: a twig protected the person who carried it from dragons and prevented snakebites
ELECAMPANE - M
Medicinal use: infections, cough, eye diseases, heart diseases, respiratory diseases, worms
Magic & beliefs: According to Pliny, elecampane protects a person from bites of poisonous creatures.
ELM - W
Medicinal use: wounds
FENNEL - M
Medicinal use: For more than 15 hundred years fennel was thought to be the most effective remedy for eye diseases. Perhaps this was based on Pliny's story about snakes, that eat fennel seeds in order to restore their vision. In addition to eye diseases it was also used to cure fever, insanity and stomach ailments.
Magic & beliefs: it was thought that fennel hung over door prevented witches from entering the house.
FIG - W, B
Medicinal use: wounds, burns, sprains
FOX'S CLOTE - W
Medicinal use: skin diseases, wounds, infections
Historical notes: A very important herb during Middle Ages and therefore commonly cultivated in the gardens of the monasteries.
FOXGLOVE - t
Medicinal use: From the 11th to 18th century foxglove was mainly used to cure dropsy. Overdoses were often lethal.
GARLIC - A, M
Medicinal use: all-heal
Magic & beliefs: Garlic protected people from various kinds of evil forces. (e.g. plague, witchcraft, vampires, scorpions and snakes). Like many other magical plant it was also an aphrodisiac (if taken with coriander and neat wine). It was also believed to increase courage.
GENTIAN - W
Medicinal use: poisons, wounds
GINGER - M
Medicinal use: flu, poisons, stomach ailments
Magic & beliefs: It was claimed that ginger prevented people from getting older. It also offered protection from plague and was an ingredient in love potions.
GRAPES
Medicinal use: stomach ailments
GREAT MULLEIN - W
Medicinal use: respiratory diseases, wounds, pain killer
Historical notes: Women also used great mullein to dye their hair yellow.
GREATER PLANTAIN - W
Medicinal use: wounds
GROUND IVY - W
Medicinal use: Ground ivy was an extremely important remedy for wounds. It was also used to cure respiratory diseases.
HAZEL NUT
Medicinal use: cough, fatigue, infections
HEMLOCK - P, M
Medicinal use: pain killer
Magic & beliefs: A deadly plant, but the symptoms of poisoning are less painful than if cowbane is used. Common ingredient in the potions of the witches and assassins.
HENBANE - P, M
Medicinal use: pain killer, anaesthetic. For example it was commonly used in amputations and other surgical operations.
Magic & beliefs: Henbane's hallucinogenic and deadly properties have been known for hundreds of years. E.g. It is believed that Delphi's oracle, Pythia, received her visions by inhaling the smoke of the burning seeds of henbane. The plant was also very popular among the assassins and witches of Medieval Europe. The latter used it in ointments that they used to rub into their skins. Scholars believe that these ointments caused hallucinations, such as the sensation of flying.
Historical notes: Surgeons of the School of Salerno (900-) used the plant as a pain killer. Henbane juice was also used as an arrow poison.
HERB PARIS - M
Magic & beliefs: yet another popular plant of Medieval witchcraft.
HOPS
Medicinal use: mildly narcotic, enhances appetite
Historical notes: It was believed that hops checked sexual desire. Therefore it was commonly cultivated in the monasteries. (e.g. Saint Gallen in the 8th century)
HOREHOUND
Medicinal use: cough, snake bites, stomach ailments. Pliny also tells us that it is the most effective antidote against poisons.
HORSERADISH - M
Medicinal use: cough, dropsy, fever, gout, parasites, respiratory diseases, stomach ailments,
Magic & beliefs: Hildegard of Bingen tells us that if one has a piece of horseradish in one's purse during the New Year's Eve, one shall not run out of money during the next year.
HOUSELEEK - M
Magic & beliefs: It was believed that houseleek protects houses from storms and lightning. It also prevented evil spirits from entering the house.
Historical notes: Charlemagne ordered that peasants should grow houseleek on the roofs of their cottages.
HYSSOP - W
Medicinal use: cough, infections, parasites, respiratory diseases, snake bites, wounds
IVY - B
Medicinal use: infections, burns
IRIS - F
Medicinal use: fractures, bites of snakes and spiders, cough, cramps, dog-bites, hangover, stomach troubles
JOHN'S WORT - M, W
Medicinal use: wounds, infections, pains of labour
Magic & beliefs: The juice of the plant protected books from mice and insects
JUNIPER - M
Medicinal use: Chewing the seeds and drinking white wine was believed to be an effective remedy for pain. Inhaling the smoke of burning juniper cured cough and killed parasites. Juniper was also used to cure sprains.
Magic & beliefs: The smoke of the burning juniper was supposed to protect people from plague and other epidemics. In addition, it was claimed that it would prevent faeries from stealing infants. Finally, juniper was thought to have a power to repel evil spirits.
KNOTGRASS - W
Medicinal use: wounds
LADY'S BEDSTRAW - W
Medicinal use: scorpion stings, skin diseases, wounds
Historical notes: It was also used to dye wool yellow
LADY'S MANTLE - W
Medicinal use: wounds
Historical notes: Lady's mantle played an important part in alchemists' efforts to create the potion of youth.
LARCH - B
Medicinal use: burns
LAUREL - M
Medicinal use: fever, flu, gout, respiratory diseases, skin diseases, stomach ailments
Magic & beliefs: Laurel protected people from lightning, plague, hallucinations and demons. Pliny also tells us that if a pregnant woman ate 7 berries beforehand, the labour would be painless
LEEK - B, W, M
Medicinal use : burns, cough,dropsy, miscarriage, poisonous bites, wounds
Magic & beliefs: According to Theatrum Sanitatis, the plant was also an aphrodisiac.
LEMON BALM
Medicinal use: Hildegard of Bingen called this herb 'Hertzensfreud' which describes pretty well the medicinal uses of the plant. It was believed to be an effective remedy for depression, heart diseases, restlessness, sleeplessness and also for stomach ailments
LILIES - B, W
Medicinal use: burns, nervousness, snake bites, wounds
LIQUORICE
Medicinal use: cough, fever, respiratory diseases.
LOVAGE - M
Medicinal use: asthma, dropsy, gout, snakebites, sore throat, stomach troubles
Magic & beliefs: Lovage was commonly used in love potions. In addition the plant also acted as a sentry of the home; if planted in front of the house lovage was supposed to keep off all evil forces, such as plague, snakes, insects etc.
Historical notes: Given the plants medical and magical powers, it is no wonder that lovage was an extremely important herb during the Middle Ages. Therefore a garden without this plant would be very rare.
MALLOW - A, M
Medicinal use: all-heal
Magic & beliefs: Mallow was an important ingredient in love potions. In addition, Pliny also reminds us that "those who carry mallow on their person are protected from all kinds of scorpion stings."
MANDRAKE -P, M
Medicinal use : The herb was used as an anaesthetic in surgical operations. A special anaesthetic potion was invented in Bologna in the 13th century. Ingredients were poppy, mandrake and vinegar.
Magic & beliefs: Medieval witches used this herb in their ointments and potions. Care had to be taken when mandrake was plucked.
MARIGOLD - W, M
Medicinal use: marigold was among the most important remedies for wounds. The plant also cured bites and stomach ailments and infections.
Magic & beliefs: aphrodisiac
MARSH MALLOW - F, M
Medicinal use: cough, fractures, poisonous bites, respiratory diseases, scorpion stings, skin diseases
Magic & beliefs: according to Pliny, marsh mallow keeps bees, hornets, wasps and serpents away
MINTS - M
Medicinal use: cough, flu, respiratory diseases, stomach troubles
Magic & beliefs: Various species prevented drunkenness and protected people from the evil eye. Mints were also aphrodisiacs.
MONKSHOOD - P, M
Medicinal use: pain killer
Magic & beliefs: witches and assassins used regularly this plant as an ingredient in their potions and ointments.
MUGWORT - M
Medicinal use: flu, parasites, women's diseases
Magic & beliefs: Mugwort was believed to be a rather magical plant. For example it was said that this plant, if wrapped around a traveller, would protect her from wild beasts, fatigue and poisons. It was also believed that mugwort would protect valuable books by repelling bookworms and other insects.
MUSTARD - M
Medicinal use: gout, scorpion stings
Magic & beliefs: aphrodisiac. According to one recipe, mustard mixed with mint and wine would make women lustful.
NETTLE - A, M
Medicinal use: all-heal
Magic & beliefs: aphrodisiac
NUTMEG
Medicinal use: epilepsy, eye diseases, stomach ailments
Magic & beliefs: Hildegard of Bingen praised nutmeg and reminded her readers that they should, if possible, keep nutmeg in their pocket during the New Year's Eve. This would protect them during the next year, if they happened to fall from a roof, cliff, ladder or other high place. Few could afford this though, because nutmeg was an extremely expensive spice during Middle Ages. Another story - told by a monk - claims that nutmeg is useful for men, because its ability to enhance potency.
OAK - W
Medicinal use: infections, poisons, wounds
ONIONS
Medicinal use : dog bites, serpent bites, stomach ailments, wounds made by wild beasts. Pliny also writes that the juice taken with water is good "for those suddenly stricken by dumbness".
OREGANO - M
Medicinal use: all poisonous bites, cramps, dropsy
Magic & beliefs: Oregano was quite a powerful plant because a person who carried it with him was believed to be protected from the witches, water sprites, demons and venomous animals. It was also believed that the smoke of burning oregano prevented the devil from helping his servants. Therefore twigs were commonly burnt during torture sessions by the inquisitors. This small bush had also a power to repel snakes from the garden.
PAPAVER RHOEAS - W
Medicinal use: wounds, sleeplessness
PARSLEY - M
Medicinal use: parasites, poisons.
Magic & beliefs: Parsley was associated with the devil. The plant germinates notoriously slowly and people claimed that seeds must go seven times to hell to ask permission to grow. If the seeds didn't germinate, the person who planted them was believed to die during the next year.
PASQUE FLOWER
Medicinal use: pain killer
PEACH TREE
Medicinal use: dropsy, pain, parasites
PEPPER - M
Medicinal use: depression, fever, pain, stomach ailments.
Magic & beliefs: It was believed that a soldier who carries pepper in his pocket would not be wounded on the battlefield. Some scholars also claimed that pepper enhanced vision.
POPPY - P
Medicinal use: Poppy was used mainly as a remedy for pain. It was also used to cure cough and restlessness
QUICKGRASS
Medicinal use: women's diseases
RADISH - M
Medicinal use: cough, deafness, dropsy, eye diseases, inflammations, intestinal worms, poisons, skin diseases, snakebites, stomach troubles, women's diseases
Magic & beliefs: This plant was believed to be effective against scorpions. For example Pliny tells us that "with hands rubbed with radish or its seed, you may handle scorpions without fear and radish placed on scorpions kills them." In addition it was an aphrodisiac.
ROCKET - F, M
Medicinal use: cough, fractured bones, parasites, scorpion bites
Magic & beliefs: This herb was an aphrodisiac. According one recipe three leaves must be picked with left hand, pounded and drunk in hydromel.
ROSEMARY - M, S, F, W
Remedy for: sprains, fractures, wounds, cough, dizziness, stomach troubles
Magic & beliefs : Rosemary, if hung around the neck, protected from plague whereas the twig offered protection against the evil eye. It was also claimed that people who sniffed the flowers of the herb regularly retained their youthfulness. In addition to this, rosemary prevented faeries from stealing infants.
ROSES
Medicinal use: fatigue, eye diseases, heart diseases, respiratory diseases, sleeplessness, stomach troubles, womens' diseases.
SAFFRON - M
Medicinal use: Saffron was an ingredient in famous Mithridates' antidote. Thanks to this, the herb was believed to be effective against all kinds of poisons. Cough, sleeplessness, the pains of labour and depression were also cured by saffron. The expensiveness of the spice limited its use though.
Magic & beliefs: aphrodisiac
SAGE / (salvia ) - A, M
Medicinal use: 'How can a man die when sage is growing in the garden?' This often quoted sentence describes pretty well the omnipotence of sage. The bush was definitely among the most important medicinal herbs of Medieval Europe. It was believed to have the power to cure all imaginable diseases and therefore a Covenant garden without it would be extremely rare.
Magic & beliefs: aphrodisiac
SELF-HEAL - W
Medicinal use: This herb was among the most important remedies for wounds during the middle ages.
SOAPWORT
Historical notes: the root of this plant was used as a soap
SOLOMON'S SEAL - F, W
Medicinal use: The crushed root was perhaps the most important remedy for fractures. Root was also used externally to heal wounds.
SORREL - M
Medicinal use : epidemics, fever, stomach troubles
Magic & beliefs: Pliny reminds us that "those who carry it on their person are protected from scorpion stings"
SOUTHERNWOOD - M
Medicinal use: cough, poisons, respiratory diseases, snakebites, stomach ailments. It was also used to repel moths.
Magic & beliefs: southernwood was the most potent antidote versus magic potions. It also repelled demons, kept snakes away and protected people from thieves. It was said that the plant can cause impotence.
SPINACH
Medicinal use: cough, respiratory diseases, scorpion stings
SQUILL - M
Medicinal use: dropsy, parasites, snake bites, stomach ailments. It was also used to enhance vision.
Magic & beliefs: Pliny writes that "squill, if hung in a doorway has the power to keep off evil enchantments."
STONE PINE
Medicinal use: the seeds were useful against cough and respiratory diseases, the bark against pain
SUMMER SAVORY - (M)
Medicinal use: bites of animals.
Magic & beliefs: aphrodisiac. It was thought that the herb had a power to drive away insects
SWEET CICELY
Medicinal use: epidemics, sleeplessness, stomach ailments
SWEET MARJORAM
Medicinal use: deafness, dropsy, hangover, stomach ailments, womens' diseases
TANSY
Medicinal use: This plant was used mainly to kill intestinal worms and other insects. Some scholars recommended it as a remedy for nervousness and the pains of the labour.
THYME - B, M
Medicinal use: burns, cough, respiratory diseases, sprains, stomach ailments, womens' diseases
Magic & beliefs: Like many other herbs, thyme protected medieval people from witchcraft. It was also claimed that eating thyme increased courage whereas the smoke of the burning herb was believed to offer a protection from poisonous bites. Thyme was also an ingredient in a potion that enabled people to see faeries.
TORMENTIL - W
Medicinal use: wounds, infections
TURNIPS
Magic & beliefs : Pliny tells us that turnips' seeds "if made into liniment or a drink in wine" will protect a person from snake bites and other poisons
VALERIAN - A, M, mp
Medicinal use: all-heal
Magic & beliefs: Yet another very powerful plant. People believed that valerian would deflect all evil plans away from the person who carried the herb. In addition, the root of the herb offered protection from evil and libidinous faeries. Cattle, if washed with the juice of valerian, were protected from earth sprites. The plant was also an aphrodisiac. For example valerian mixed with neat wine was supposed to turn even the most virtuous woman lustful.
VERVAIN - W
Medicinal use: among the most important remedies for wounds
Magic & beliefs: vervain was believed to protect people from metal weapons
WHITE WILLOW
Medicinal use: the skin, if boiled with water, was a pain killer
WILD BEET - B
Medicinal use : burns
WILD LETTUCE - (B, W,
Medicinal use : fresh burns, poisons, spider stings, snake bites, wounds,
Magic & beliefs: It was thought that wild lettuce would improve vision. This belief was probably based on Pliny's story about hawks . ("... since hawks, by tearing it open and wetting their eyes with the juice, dispel poor vision when they have become aware of it.")
WORMWOOD -mp, A, M
Medicinal use: Wormwood was an all-heal, but as the name hints the herb was used mainly to kill and repel all kinds of insects.
Magic & beliefs: This plant had strange powers. For example, Pliny tell us that the person who has wormwood in her shoe is protected from seasickness and sea monsters. In addition, the fellow who carries the twig of the herb is protected from fatigue. It was also believed that wormwood juice repelled bookworms and other nasty bugs. Therefore medieval scholars used to add this juice to their ink in order to protect their books. Others preferred rinsing vellum sheets with the same juice. People also thought that wormwood would turn moths away from wardrobes. It was also claimed that wormwood, if cultivated in the garden, would keep off all kinds of snakes.
YARROW - W
Medicinal use: Yarrow was without doubt a major healing herb during the middle ages. It served not only doctors but also common folk - like carpenters - who carried it in their pouches as a first aid kit. It was mainly used to heal wounds and to prevent infections.

4. List of Books

Here are some important books that your Covenant or character may own:

The Canon of Medicine by Avicenna (980-1037)
Avicenna was a Persian physician whose Canon of Medicine became the leading authority in the field of medicine during the Middle Ages.
Suggested level : Medicine 6-7

Causae et Curae by Hildegard of Bingen (circa 1150)
Suggested level : Medicine 3-4

De Materia Medica by Dioscorides Pedanios (1st century AD)
Dioscorides' De Materia Medica was a supreme authority in the field of botany for over 1500 years. During these years the book was copied, recopied and commented by generations of scholars. If your covenant has a good book on herbalism / botany, I would suggest De Materia Medica.
Suggested level: Herbalism 6-7, Medicine 4-5

De Practica Chirurgaea
A textbook from the famous School of Salerno
Suggested level : Medicine 2

De Viribus Herbarum by Macer Aemilius (10th century)
The medicinal properties of 88 plants are described in this book
Suggested level : Herbalism 2, Medicine 2

Experiments of Cophon (1080)
A book written in the school of Salerno
Suggested level : Medicine 2

Herbarium Apuleius (circa AD 400)
A compilation of recipes from Greek sources.
Suggested level : Herbalism 5, Medicine 3-4

Historia De Plantis by Theophrastos (circa 300 BC)
Suggested level : Botany 5, Herbalism 3, Medicine 3

Leechbook of the Bald (925)
Suggested level : Herbalism 2, Medicine 2

Liber de Proprietatibus Rerum by Bartholomaeus Anglicus (late 12th-early 13th century)
Suggested level : Herbalism 3, Medicine 2

Natural History, books 20-32 by Gaius Plinius Secundus (a.k.a. Pliny the Elder)
Largest compilation of medicinal plants from the Greek period. Pretty common in the larger monastic libraries
Suggested level : Herbalism 5, Medicine 3-4

Regimen Sanitatis Salerni
Famous poem of health from the School of Salerno
Suggested level : Medicine 5

Theatrum Sanitatis by Ibn Botlan
Suggested level : Medicine 3, Herbalism 3


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