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8220Re: [SCA-Herbalist] oooh!

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  • Aly/Cemper
    Jul 31 11:40 AM
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      One need remember that plants had very different names in different places. Even the genus species of plants was different between areas and many of the genus species and plants we know now were known by different names. The difference could even be extreme from city to city or two different towns within a 30 mile radius. (This makes research a bit of a pain). Valerian has been used as a mild sedative as early as the 7th c. and is mentioned in Bald's Leecebook; however, Valerian was also known as Cetewall. There are two completely different plants known as cetewall: one is a ginger type plant and one is Valerian. 
      The Oxford English Dictionary  cites that setwall, Md. sedewale, is the name given to zedoary, Curcuma zedoaria, a ginger type of plant that is associated with turmeric, and Valeriana pyrenaicia  The mediaeval community knew Valeriana pyrenaicia as Ebullus minor; the modern date genus species names Ebullus minor the name of Valeriana officintalis . Some old English writers, named the herb valerian, setwall (or cetewall). The herb, was, and still is, generally accessible to many .  Even today, one can find Valerian growing in old ruins and buildings in England. Valerian is a strong sedative and works upon the higher nerve centers. It is used internally and usually prescribed as a tea to relieve anxiety and, incidentally, as an anti-convulsion medicine.  The Lacnunga manuscript also lists valerian as an ingredient as a salve. Salves, used against infection are topically applied. “Ðis is seo grene seaf, betonia, rude, lufestice, finel, salue, aeðelferðinewyrt,……ualeriane, clate, medewyert, dweorgedwolsan." {This green (ointment) is betony scab, lovage plant, fennel, (dark noble), king-herb (basil), valerian, burdock,mead-wort (mead with herbs in it),can use for [against] dwarves, mists.}

      As an herb with the medicinal uses that we center upon, whilst Valerian was used internally, because it also had external benefits, the drug also, in some cases, carried the folk name of all-heal. All-heal(s) were popular names given to drugs that had more then one use and more then one important benefit. There are many many different plants that have the name of All-heal and they could be different again from city to city or town to town...
      The biggest problem that I find with Valerian is its current over-use or misuse. For example, my daughter is allergic to Valerian and I have found that many people have adverse reactions to Valerian depending upon doses or just plain unable to digest. Valium is a modern day equivalent of the plant and should be treated as a medication and with caution.
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