Medieval saint, mystic, healer, and visionary-Hildegard von Bingen has made a comeback. She is now popular in natural healing circles, in medieval and women’s studies, and among those interested in investing the everyday with the spiritual.
Hildegard’s Healing Plants is a gift version and new translation of the ‘Plant’ section of Physica, Hildegard’s classic work on health and healing. Hildegard comments on 230 plants and grains-most of which are still grown in home gardens and sold at local health food stores. In one of many entries on women’s health, Hildegard writes, ‘Also if a pregnant woman labors much in childbirth, let someone cook pleasant herbs, such as fennel and assurum, in water with fear and great moderation, squeeze out the water, and place them while they are warm around her thighs and back, tied gently with a piece of cloth, so that her pain and her closed womb is opened more pleasantly and easily.’
Whether read for the sheer enjoyment of Hildegard’s earthy, intelligent voice (“Let a man who has an overabundance of lust in his loins cook wild lettuce in water and pour it over himself in a sauna”) or for her encyclopedic and often still relevant understanding of natural health, Hildegard’s Healing Plants is a treasure for gardeners, natural healing enthusiasts, and Hildegard fans everywhere.
Hildegard’s Healing Plants includes 230 plants and grains-most of which are still grown in home gardens and sold at local health food stores.