The Nine Sacred Herbs of the Anglo-Saxons
2012 07 03

By Francis Beswick | Suite101.com

The Anglo-Saxons believed that nine herbs had special powers against illness and evil

The Nine Herb Charm

" A worm came crawling and tore a man asunder. Then took Woden nine magic twigs and smote the serpent that he in nine pieces dispersed. Now these nine herbs have power.........
This text from the Lacnunga, a tenth century Anglo-Saxon herbal, provides a myth to explain the origin of the nine sacred herbs. Worm is Anglo-Saxon for dragon, and Woden, the sorceror god, is now better known by his Norse designation, Odin.

The Lacnunga is a collection of nearly two hundred herbs used by the Anglo-Saxons and kept now at the British Library in London. Whoever compiled it gathered material from a wide range of sources, mostly Anglo-Saxon, hence it is not a systematic account, but more of an anthology. One of its contents is the Nine Herb Charm, a quote from which is given above.

Saxon Beliefs

The Anglo-Saxons thought that diseases were spread on the air as the wind blew poisons around. In a pre-scientific age when viruses were unknown this was a reasonable idea that gets to grip with the fact that some disease is spread by air. However, they entrusted healing to herbs and charms. Herbs would be applied with the appropriate incantations to attempt to heal the patient.

The Nine Herbs

Mugwort: [Artemisia vulgaris] This is the first of the nine. Its name derives from the fact that it as a wort [plant] that was used as an ale flavouring, hence it flavoured your mugs. It continued as an ale flavouring right into the Middle Ages, and as healers used to administer herbs in alcohol, mugwort-flavored ale would be a popular medicine. It was believed that pillows stuffed with Artemisia would grant good dreams, and that if applied as an infusion in bath water it would restore vigour. It gave stamina to last on long journeys.

[...]


Read the full article at: suite101.com

Image: Source






Related Articles
Wild Oregano - King of Herbs
Herbal Remedy Ingredient Tied to Cancer, Kidney Failure
Herbal Bliss with Kratom
Herbal remedies banned as new EU rules take effect
Recipes for Health: Magical, Religious, and Pharmacological Remedies for Female Ailments in Medieval England


Latest News from our Front Page

Chess-playing computers may cause the robot apocalypse
2014 04 23
Sore-loser chess programs might be the end of us all... In the movie The Terminator, we heard the human side of the story of Judgment Day, with the machines getting smart and seeing us as a threat. It wasn’t until the sequel that we heard the tale from the machine’s point of view, as it chose to start World War III ...
Archeologists’ findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
2014 04 23
It is already known as the eternal city, and if new archeological findings prove correct Rome may turn out to be even more so than believed until now. Next week, the city will celebrate its official, 2,767th birthday. According to a tradition going back to classic times, the brothers Romulus and Remus founded the city on 21 April in the year ...
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
2014 04 23
A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. "I can’t speak for other MPs, but I’ve had many, many calls over the past eight years about chemtrails. And these questions are not so easy to answer," ...
Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound
2014 04 23
If it quacks like a duck... it’s not always a duck. Scientists have reportedly gotten to the bottom of the mysterious ’Bio-Duck’ sound in the Antarctic. Here’s a recording of the strange sound (it’s kind of a stretch to say it sounds like a duck, but who are we to second guess the biologists?). --- Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound Solved By Tanya Lewis ...
’Extreme’ Carbon Dioxide Reduction will be a Death Sentence for Humanity & Planet Earth
2014 04 23
If we allow a fraudulent pseudo-environmentalist cult to control every aspect of our lives then our children are doomed to a totalitarian existence which Stalin could only have dreamed of. “The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine ...
More News »