1,000 Year Old Illustrated Herbal Remedy Guide Is Now Available (For Free) Online


If you aspire to better understand nature and the medicines which are readily available to us all, take advantage of a 1,000-year-old, illustrated herbal remedy guide which is available online for free.

The beautifully-illustrated book belongs in the British Library’s Collection, but has been digitized for online viewing. Because the Cotton MS Vitellius C III is from the 11th century, it is packed full of information.

The illustrated book contains a variety of herbal, natural treatments to cure everything from body odor (simmer artichokes in wine) to a reduction of chest pain (licorice root). When viewing the book in your browser, zoom in on the high-resolution scene to see the Old English Script and vivid drawings of the plants and animals used for healing. Each entry contains the plant’s or animal’s “name in various languages; descriptions of ailments it can be used to treat; and instructions for finding and preparing it.”

As Open Culture reports, herbal therapies were relied on for thousands of years as many contain health-promoting properties. Unfortunately, most of the original manuscripts have been destroyed over the years. The copy in the British Library’s possession is the only surviving illustrated Old English manual.

Said Alison Hudsen, the project curator: “No one knows for sure how this manuscript was used or even where or by whom it was made. Its production has been associated with monastic scriptoria at Canterbury and Winchester, due to its style of decoration and script, but this is by no means certain. Monasteries in those areas functioned both as centers of natural and supernatural healing and also as libraries and centers of learning.”

If you find it difficult to make sense of Old English, a 2002 translation available for sale.

By Amanda Froelich

Source: Truth Theory



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