Category Archives: Half a Hundred Herbs

Expressing the Earth – the Herbs

When we visited the Kilmartin Museum, my first port of call was the lovely herb garden planted alongside the path. I had been struck by this last time I was there, because it seemed very different to a lot of recent constructions, which often come straight out of a picture book, without regard to climate… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs – The Methods

Mugwort, plantain which lives facing the sun, lambscress, burdock,chamomile, nettle, crab apple thyme and fennel a salve for keeping thus: chop the leaves finely and mix with the apple pulp and a salve base. a plaster or fomentation – make a paste of water and ash, and mix the fennel with oil and beaten egg.… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs – the Indications

Now these nine herbs * prevail against nine demons, against nine poisons * and nine epidemics, against the red plague * against the foul plague, against the white plague * against the blue plague, against the yellow plague * against the green plague, against the brown plague * against the lingering plague, against the harm… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs 8 and 9 Thyme and Fennel

Two for the price of one this time.     Thyme and fennel, * all-powerful both The Lord wisely * shaped these herbs Holy in heaven * where he hung Established and sent them * into the seven kingdoms To heal the rich * and the poor alike They will stand against pain, * they… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs 7 Crab apple

I live in a village which keeps the last remnants of ancient monastic orchards, and we still have a lot of fruit trees. When I first came here, ‘plundering’  was a regular amusement for boys from across the river, and you would find dropped apples on the bridge wherever some irate gardener had chased them.… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs – 6 Chamomile

Remember now chamomile * what you made known what you ordained * at Alford That no-one should ever * lose his life because of infection if he had chamomile * with his food.   I’ve struggled a bit with this one, as I can’t imagine cooking with chamomile, but chamomile tea is a great digestive… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs – 5 Burdock

A burdock plant photographed in June on the island of Seil. Put to evil to flight, now burdock,* let the great be diminished  the lesser be increased * until both are healed. This, I admit, is a weird one, a flight of fancy, perhaps, but not without some thought and information behind it. I had… Read More »

January Garden

Gloomy as it may look, this is the garden today – cold and damp in the rising wind, but livened by a pheasant I’ve just chased away from the bird feeder. In spite of the cold – and forecast of snow – there’s an air of expectation about it. Birds are significantly noisier than they… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs (4) Nettle

Nettle this is called * powerful against sickness. It drives out pain * it is powerful against sickness. This is the herb * that fought with the serpent, It has might against poison, * might against infection, might against the evil one * who wanders the land. No controversy about this one – everyone agrees… Read More »