Brrr, I’m warding off the morning chill with hot tea and a peanut butter cookie as I watch the sunrise light flood my kitchen. Soon I’ll be mixing and brewing in there, getting medieval medicines ready to demonstrate at Abbey Medieval Festival next weekend.
First, however, I’m excited to share with you my book: “herb & spice a little book of medieval remedies” that I finished this week.
It’s a lovely little book, chock full of over 50 recipes and remedies inspired by medieval writings, findings in recent archaeological digs, and nuggets of information passed on to me from friends, family, and medieval history buffs.
I’ve been making my own concoctions since I was a little girl, mixing up “healing brews” with my brothers and cousins that consisted almost entirely of dirt, sticks, water, and whatever weeds we could find. They healed no one, but added much to our imaginative enactments of dramatic flights from bad guys and heroic stands in the wilderness.
Making such things seemed natural to me since my Mum, aunts, and grandmother were always treating our various childhood ailments with applications of raw honey and herbal teas. I remember the year I got terrible frostbite on my face and my grandmother promptly put me to bed and slathered raw honey all over my face. It felt mighty strange, I tell ya, but it did the trick, and my skin healed quickly without any scarring.
In later years I studied herbal and traditional medicine on my own, reading books by the stack and finding myself often frustrated by the lack of practical information. Yes, I knew lavender was good for burns and licorice root would help with a chest cold, but HOW?? Did I make a paste? A tea? A salve of some sort? The nitty-gritty, that’s what I wanted to know.
So I kept studying and experimenting, taking the ingredients, testing them, and figuring out how to use them in effective ways.
Along the way I learned that natural does not equal safe. Herbs affect people differently and must be used with caution. They can also interact with medications and it is always best to consult your doctor before adding herbal remedies to your health regimen.
Good sense and good research are my rules of thumb. And honestly, the research is half the fun. I love learning what different tribes and cultures have used to heal and rejuvenate their people over the centuries. I’m fascinated by how modern science helps explain why things work, why they don’t, and how to use them safely.
Here is a little preview of “herb & spice – a little book of medieval remedies“:
If you would like to purchase a copy of your own, click here: “herb & spice – a little book of medieval remedies“
The book is printed in California and ships worldwide.
Do you have any herbal remedies you love to use in your family? xo