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7834Re: [SCA-Herbalist] Newbie--Help!

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  • Jennifer Heise
    Jul 1, 2010
      Greetings Kathy! You've picked a fun area to study!

      There are a number of different sources out there that will help you. This list is one, of course. But there are others. Two books I found very helpful when I was just starting out were Rosetta Clarkson's _Magic Gardens_ and _Green Enchantment_. Some people like _Brother Cadfael's Herb Garden_ but I find it too difficult to tell when they are talking about something that appeared in a Brother Cadfael book or something that appeared in a classical or medieval source. Werner Telesko did a book called "Wisdom of Nature" that used information from the medieval manuscripts, but I prefer the "Sweet Herbs and Sundry Flowers" and "Herbs from the Medieval Household" books published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

      Once you've spent some time picking out information about medieval use of herbs from general sources like these, you may want to tackle some references written in our period. While Culpeper's *English Physitian* is actually 17th century, he's pretty accessible, and he has recipes in the back for various types of herbal prepations. He was an unlicensed apothecary and got in trouble with the Colleges of Physicians for revealing the recipes to the public.  On the other hand, you might want to jump right in with the Anglo-Saxon stuff-- Stephen Pollington has a compilation called  Leechcraft: Early English Charms, Plant-Lore and Healing.

      You may want to think about what areas you are interested in: cosmetic, food, medical, magical use of herbs.

      A lot of herbs known in period, such as mint, parsley, sage, rosemary and marjoram were used in more than one way. In many cases, you can grow these in pots if you take reasonable care. Don't let them dry out and don't let them stay waterlogged. Lavender can be trickier, and sage may not live more than a year in places that don't have a cold-enough cold season.

      People in our period often harvested herbs out of patches by the side of the road (John of Arden's Surgerie gives you directions to a specific patch) though it appears that manors and monasteries, as well as apothecaries and cooks grew some herbs specifically.

      I have to admit that I've a laurel in herbalism. I have a website with some of the things I've researched and redacted here: http://www.gallowglass.org/jadwiga/herbs/herbs.html  if you want to see some of the projects I've worked on.

      Easy projects to start with include handwashing waters and strewing herbs.

      What else can we help you with?

      -- Jadwiga

      On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 1:09 PM, italianherbal <sigilli@...> wrote:

      Hey, I'm a sophmore in college and i'm really interested in learning about herbs. My eventual goal is to become a loral and I need some advice. Can anyone tell me things like: What to do, how to go about doing it, and what has been done?

      I live in the West Palm area over the summer, but in the Fall and Spring i'm up in Pensacola.

      I was thinking about just diving into the research, i have a few books-mundane and SCA- on the subject, but if there is a better way to approach this please feel free to offer advice!!!


      Jennifer Heise

      known in the SCA as Jadwiga Zajaczkowa
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