One of the duties of the lady of the castle was to ensure the planting and harvesting of the herb garden each year. Without a proper supply of herbs the inhabitants of the castle may not last through a harsh winter. I thought you might find it interesting to learn which herbs she found most important and their uses.
Most of these herbs are still available today and can be grown year round in your garden or in pots on your kitchen windowsill.
Basil, Coriander, Curry, Chives, Garlic, Lavender, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon and Wintersavory. Chives, Garlic, some Oreganos and Wintersavory were often able to continue to grow through winter conditions. These herbs were used to give flavor to meals, used as tea and often hid the taste of rancid meat.
Citron, Lavender, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Parsley, Rosemary and Sage were used to freshen the air. Lavender, Rosemary and Citron kept fleas and moths away. They were often used in sachets and as deoderants during months when bathing was not an option.
Boneset, Dandelion, Feverfew, Garlic, Goosegrass, Lavender, Peppermint, Sage, Self-heal, Tansy, and Willowbark.
Dandelion was used as a purgative and diuretic, Self-heal, Feverfew and Willowbark for fever and pain and Goosegrass and Boneset were used for breaks, cuts and lesions.
Often, these herbs would be mixed with a bit of fat and applied topically or ground and used in poultices. Of course you can always buy them predried or capsuled and ready to use from herb retailers, such as Mountain Rose Herbs.
Visit The Tiny Medieval Garden board on Pinterest for some fascinating ideas on how to create your very own medieval garden and ways to use your herbs for natural healing.
Artwork: My Sweet Rose by John W. Waterhouse
Mari J. Dionne
AADP Certified Holistic Health Practitioner of Natural Healing
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