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[SCA-Herbalist] newbie questions

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  • jemoore@firstam.com
    Here are some newbie questions...I still don t know many people in my area, and as far as I know there are no herb groups close to me (grand rapids, MI). I m
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 1, 2002
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      Here are some newbie questions...I still don't know many people in my area,
      and as far as I know there are no herb groups close to me (grand rapids,
      MI). I'm trying to come up with some ideas for A&S fairs, actually working
      on the preliminary research and development.

      I have a couple of ideas for projects but the following questions apply:

      When researching a project to enter into A&S, do you try and replicate a
      period recipe? Or do you document the herbs that would have been used at a
      particular area / period then create your own?


      Thanks for all the help!

      Lina Harley
    • Alywn
      If you go to the Middle Kingdom A&S page (I don t remember the URL off hand, but you can follow links from sca.org if you are patient), you can download the
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 1, 2002
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        If you go to the Middle Kingdom A&S page (I don't remember the URL off
        hand, but you can follow links from sca.org if you are patient), you can
        download the judging criteria. Also the forbidden and restricted herb
        lists. By reading the criteria, you'll get a much better idea of what will
        score the big points. But generally, replicating a period recipe is
        acceptable but if you can document something was used in a particular area
        and time, but the recipe is original to you, it is supposed to score
        better. What they want to know is that you know how things were put
        together in period. Doesn't matter if something would actually work.
        Avacyn

        >Here are some newbie questions...I still don't know many people in my area,
        >and as far as I know there are no herb groups close to me (grand rapids,
        >MI). I'm trying to come up with some ideas for A&S fairs, actually working
        >on the preliminary research and development.
        >
        >I have a couple of ideas for projects but the following questions apply:
        >
        >When researching a project to enter into A&S, do you try and replicate a
        >period recipe? Or do you document the herbs that would have been used at a
        >particular area / period then create your own?
        >
        >
        >Thanks for all the help!
        >
        >Lina Harley
        >
        >
        >
        >-------------------------------------------------------------
        >SCA-Herbalist disclaimer: This list is primarily for discussion of medieval
        >and renaissance herbalism and herbalism in the SCA. Please verify any health
        >information in other sources and/or with a qualified health professional.
        >
        >Get medieval at Mad Macsen's http://www.MedievalMart.com/
        >Sponsored by House Wyvern Hall, BBM, East Kingdom, SCA
        >[Email to SCA-Herbalist-unsubscribe@egroups.com to leave this list]
        >
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        "No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up."
        --Lily Tomlin
      • Jenne Heise
        ... Bear in mind that, contrary to popular belief, there ARE many period herbal recipes that are safe to use and quite a number that use ingredients that
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 31, 2002
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          > When researching a project to enter into A&S, do you try and replicate a
          > period recipe? Or do you document the herbs that would have been used at a
          > particular area / period then create your own?

          Bear in mind that, contrary to popular belief, there ARE many period
          herbal recipes that are safe to use and quite a number that use
          ingredients that aren't hard to get, so don't get too discouraged by the
          idea of using period recipes first off.

          I think the best approach is definitely to start by looking at period
          recipes. You may not end up exactly duplicating any of the recipes
          you're examining, but it gives you someplace to start in finding out how
          and why people used things they way they did. You don't have to have a
          book of period recipes to work from: look in period herbals for recipes.

          Now, if what you are trying to create is a 'standard' sort of preparation
          (an oil, a syrup, an electuary, etc.) you will want to search the herbals
          to find out what the best herbs would have been for your purpose and how
          they would have been prepared (again, a poultice? a syrup? an infusion?
          etc.)

          Then look at what documentation you can find for those 'standard'
          preparations and consider how you are going to put yours together.

          Be sure to make note of what choices you made and why-- if you choose not
          to follow the period recipe, say why you didn't and what you did instead.

          You will get better marks if you can document similar uses and similar
          recipes when you enter a competition, but that's not as important as the
          fact that you'll have a better understanding of how the stuff would have
          been put together and whether the ingredients you want to use would have
          been used together.

          That's sort of a halfway answer to your question: does it help at all?

          --
          Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
          disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
          "She believed that if a thing was worth doing, it was worth doing
          badly, at least until someone got fed up watching her do it badly
          and took it away and did it properly, thank you very much."
        • Carrie Ulshafer
          One period herbal I found on ebay (total luck as it is out of print)is the Medieval Health Handbook by Tacuinum Sanitatis. It has a great deal of photos of
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 3, 2002
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            One period herbal I found on ebay (total luck as it is
            out of print)is the Medieval Health Handbook by
            Tacuinum Sanitatis. It has a great deal of photos of
            illuminations and descriptions of the like. May be of
            use to you.

            Also A Medieval Miscellany by Judith Herrin. It also
            has some great pics for documentation and such. More
            so for those looking to document through pictoral
            reference in the way of jars and such as well.

            Hope this may help a tad.

            Ldy Galla


            --- Jenne Heise <jenne@...> wrote:
            > > When researching a project to enter into A&S, do
            > you try and replicate a
            > > period recipe? Or do you document the herbs that
            > would have been used at a
            > > particular area / period then create your own?
            >
            > Bear in mind that, contrary to popular belief, there
            > ARE many period
            > herbal recipes that are safe to use and quite a
            > number that use
            > ingredients that aren't hard to get, so don't get
            > too discouraged by the
            > idea of using period recipes first off.
            >
            > I think the best approach is definitely to start by
            > looking at period
            > recipes. You may not end up exactly duplicating any
            > of the recipes
            > you're examining, but it gives you someplace to
            > start in finding out how
            > and why people used things they way they did. You
            > don't have to have a
            > book of period recipes to work from: look in period
            > herbals for recipes.
            >
            > Now, if what you are trying to create is a
            > 'standard' sort of preparation
            > (an oil, a syrup, an electuary, etc.) you will want
            > to search the herbals
            > to find out what the best herbs would have been for
            > your purpose and how
            > they would have been prepared (again, a poultice? a
            > syrup? an infusion?
            > etc.)
            >
            > Then look at what documentation you can find for
            > those 'standard'
            > preparations and consider how you are going to put
            > yours together.
            >
            > Be sure to make note of what choices you made and
            > why-- if you choose not
            > to follow the period recipe, say why you didn't and
            > what you did instead.
            >
            > You will get better marks if you can document
            > similar uses and similar
            > recipes when you enter a competition, but that's not
            > as important as the
            > fact that you'll have a better understanding of how
            > the stuff would have
            > been put together and whether the ingredients you
            > want to use would have
            > been used together.
            >
            > That's sort of a halfway answer to your question:
            > does it help at all?
            >
            > --
            > Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise
            > jenne@...
            > disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for
            > me.
            > "She believed that if a thing was worth doing, it
            > was worth doing
            > badly, at least until someone got fed up watching
            > her do it badly
            > and took it away and did it properly, thank you very
            > much."
            >


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          • Steven H. Mesnick
            ... Just a note.... Unless I m way off base, Tacuinum Sanitatis is the title of the book, not the name of its author. Sanitatis is of health ; I ve been
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 3, 2002
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              > One period herbal I found on ebay (total luck as it is
              > out of print)is the Medieval Health Handbook by
              > Tacuinum Sanitatis.

              Just a note....

              Unless I'm way off base, Tacuinum Sanitatis is the title
              of the book, not the name of its author. "Sanitatis" is
              "of health"; I've been unable to find "tacuin-" in any of my
              dictionaries.

              Steffan ap Kennydd

              --
              "Crausi sumus!"
              "Quid dicis, te clausus esse? Apertio magna est!"
              "Crausi sumus! Nos ravatorium siccum nunc! Nunc i, tu!"
            • Terri Spencer
              ... _Tacuinum Sanatatis_ were illuminated health manuscripts for the wealthy noble patron. It seems Tacuinum is a westernization of the Arabic word taqwim,
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 4, 2002
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                "Steven H. Mesnick" <steffan@...> wrote:
                >> One period herbal I found on ebay (total luck as it is
                >> out of print)is the Medieval Health Handbook by
                >> Tacuinum Sanitatis.

                > Just a note....
                > Unless I'm way off base, Tacuinum Sanitatis is the title
                > of the book, not the name of its author. "Sanitatis" is
                > "of health"; I've been unable to find "tacuin-" in any of my
                > dictionaries.

                _Tacuinum Sanatatis_ were illuminated health manuscripts for the
                wealthy noble patron. It seems Tacuinum is a westernization of the
                Arabic word taqwim, from the 11th century taqwim es-sihha by Ibn Botlan
                (Elbochasim of Bagdad), a book of tables summarizing humoral health
                theory, which was translated and became the basis of the captions in
                the illuminated manuscripts. So I guess he would be the original
                author.

                There is a used copy of the Medieval Health Handbook available for $32
                at amazon.com via The Elephant's Foot.

                While researching this, I found the University of Florida purchased
                "Theatrum Sanitatis - Facsimile of a 14-15th century treatise on the
                concepts of health and hygiene based on Greco-Roman and Arabic
                medicine, from the work of Ibn Botlan (written ca. 1052-1063)."
                and
                Romance of the Knight Zifar. Facsimile of El Libro del Cavallero Zifar
                (1304), first book of chivalry in Castilian Spanish, 242 illuminations.

                A Tacuinum Sanatatis & chivalry MS in Gator country (ie not too far for
                a roadtrip)! Any Trimarians out there with access to UF research
                collections?

                Tara


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