Three small plants are growing under the watchful eye of Bart Backaert, Aalst. The smell, he writes, is already noticeable.
White bryony (Bryonia) roots juice 3 quarts; Feverfew (Tanecetum Matricaria /Parthanium) and Rue (Ruta graveolens) 3 pint each; Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) and Thyme (Thymus vulgare) leaves, Savin (Juniperus sabina) leaf tops; Tree of Life, Myrrh (could be Myrrhis odorata) leaf … Read More
According to Londa Schiebinger in her book Plants and Empire, “savin (Juniperus sabina) was European women’s abortifacient of choice. “ “Dioscorides knew it as an abortifacient, as did Galen, Avicenna, and Constantinus Africanus. Native to the south of Europe and … Read More
The Parisian Oath of 1587 was typical in forbidding midwives from “ordering or administering any potion, or other kind of medicine to a woman, whether married or unmarried, in order to procure the abortion of their child, on pain of … Read More
This remedy, also given to abort a dead fetus and to promote afterbirth and menstruation, contained a number of likely effective abortifacients: Take half a pound of iris roots (Iris foetidissima / pseudacorus / germanica) and half an ounce of … Read More
Nicholas Culpeper’s Compete Herbal, 1652. The Latins call them Placentula, or little cakes; they are usually little round cakes, flat. Their first invention was, that powders being so kept, might resist the intermission of air, and so endure pure longer. … Read More
Take the Bark of the Roots of Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and that of Parsley (Petroselinum crispum/sativum), each 8 ounces; Spring Water 3 quarts. Digest in a moderate Heat for a Night; then boil them together till a Quart be evaporated. … Read More
Take of Asa Foetida (Ferula – dried latex/gum) and Galbanum (Ferula gummosa – aromatic gum resin) each 2 drams and half; Myrrh (Commiphora myrrh – resin), 2 drams; Castor (ricinus communis), a dram and half; Birthwort Root (Aristolochia clematitis), 2 … Read More