Growing heirloom plants
Resources for gardeners
Wyrtig - In early sources
AKA Matricaria chamomilla
Many thanks to the
Library for providing this image from
MS Edgerton, F28v,
Salerno, c. 1280 CE..
Growing chamomile in your
Chamomile takes its name from
Greek kamai, on the
ground; and melon, apple. Chamomile was used as a strewing
herb, spread on the floor for its sweet scent; and planted along
garden paths and on turf benches. Believed to be a physician to the
plants growing near it, chamomile was often grown here and there
among other plants.
Physicians of Myddfai (c. 1250), 125
If a snake should enter a person's mouth, or there should be
any other living worm in him, let him mix wild chamomile, (in
powder) in wine until it is thick, and drink it; it it will relieve
him of them.
Physicians of Myddfai (c. 1250), 484
For an upset stomach
Take chamomile, mash well, and boil in a pint of wine till to reduce
it by half. Give it to the patient, and they will
Physicians of Myddfai (c. 1250), 316
that are useful for the brain:
musk and chamomile
Drinking wine with moderation
Keeping the head warm
the hands often
Walking and sleeping with moderation
to music and singing
Smelling red roses
brow with rose water
Reading a bit before
going to sleep
Eating a light diet
Wið þeore cneowholen niþeweard . acumba . cwið . 7 brune wyrt ealra emfela do on
wilisc eale . bewyl oþ þriddan dæl 7 drince þt hwile þa he
wurse . 7 þær sio adl gefitte filge him simle mid tige horne ot þæt hal sie.
Læcboc (800 CE),
The root of Butcher's broom, rough flax, chamomile, & water
betony, equally into foreign ale. Boil down to one third, and let the patient drink when
need it. Where the disease has settled, follow him up always with
the cupping horn, until the place be heal.
Wið wære gefelen heardnesse wære lifre ðonne is seo to
beðianna miðhatan wætre on
gesondene wyrta. Wermond . 7 wildre magþan wyrttruman . fenogrecum hatte wyrt
. 7 eorð gealla...
Læcboc (800 CE),
Against tender hardness of the liver then bathe it in hot water in
which plants have been soaked, wormwood and wild maythe roots, a
plant called fenugreek, and earthgall...
Leechbook, II. xxii
gemyne ðu mægðe :
æt alorforda .
þæt næfre for gefloge
feorh ne gesealde
syþðan him mon
The Nine Herbs Prayer, in
Lacnunga, BL Harley 585
what you disclosed
you brought to an end
at Alorford .
that never to infection
life be sold
since for him someone
as a meal
From the Nine Herbs Prayer
eagerna sare genim man ær sunnan upgange
þe man camemelon
7 oðrum naman mageþe nemneð 7
þonne hy man nime cweþe
þæt he hy
wille wið fleann 7 wið eagera sare niman; nyme syððan
þæt wos 7
smyrige ða eagan ðærmid.
eyes, take before the sunrise the plant that some call chamomile and
others call maythe, and when one takes it let that one say they take
it against white specks, and they take it against sore eyes; take a
paste of it and smear the eyes there with it.
Many plants have
been used in past and present times for medicinal purposes, and as
one of the focuses of Wyrtig is the history of gardening, these uses
are discussed here. However, common sense
requires that you consult your family physician or other
health care provider before using any plant materials for medicinal
purposes. The old saying that "A doctor who treats him- (or her-)
self has a fool for a patient" is no less true in herbal medicine
than in any other branch of the healing sciences. Herbal remedies
should not be used by the uninformed; medical advice should be
sought before using any herbal remedy.