~ Out Of The Dark Ages~
After the fall of Rome, European herbal traditions were not completely
submerged by the ensuing Dark Ages.
The 'barbarians' brought with them their own herbal healing customs to which they added the Roman practices that survived and, with the spread of Christianity, there was considerable exchange of both actual medicines and tried and tested remedies.
The Growth Of European Herbalism
Europe's oldest surviving herbal written in the vernacular, The Leech Book of Bald, dates from the first half of the 10th century, and includes remedies sent by the Patriarch of Jerusalem to King Alfred.
Although medical schools spread through Europe ( the most famous, at Salerno, was founded in the early 10th century and taught the Hippocratic principals of good diet, exercise, and fresh air ), healing and herbalism were largely in the hands of the Church, with all monasteries growing medicinal herbs and tending the sick as part of Christian duty. Healing was as much a matter of prayer as medicine.
By the 1530's , as learning moved away from the cloister, emphasis was gradually again given to the healing skills and disciplines once taught at the Salerno school.
A new practice emerged through a German physician named Paracelsus.
The practice we know as Doctrine of Signatures...which maintains that the
outward appearance of a plant gives an indication of the ailments it would/will help /cure. ( nutmeg and walnuts were compared to the brain. Lungwort leaves look like a diseased lung. A sliced carrot looks like the center of the eye, and on and on. ) As we know today, all of these and more have been proven to be so.
Tea is a classic example of this practice/belief...in the 17th century it was proclaimed as a cure-all....then it became no more than a popular drink...and we are now back to seeing and using tea as a medicinal benefit.
Stay tuned~more to come....
Disclaimer....Any and all herbal articles from and by Sage Hill is offered totally as educational information only. We do not intend this information to be viewed as medicinal advice for any given treatment.
Sage Hill does not sell Medicinal products nor do we give Medicinal advice.