by Nicole Wines
You can brush up on your old English, labor through it, or just enjoy the illustrations. The “Cotton MS Vitellius C III”, the oldest known illustrated book on the magic of herbs and herbal remedies is available to all for free in the British Libraries’ digitized collections. Even if all you can understand are the illustrations, the simple fact that such a historic document is available to herbalists and those interested in healing all around the world is incredible. Be sure to share and spread the word, especially amongst your herbalist friends!
According to hyperallergenic.com, “The text to this Old English herbal was previously translated into modern English by Anne Van Arsdall in her book Medieval Herbal Remedies: The Old English Herbarium and Anglo-Saxon Medicine, first published in 2002.” No one knows who wrote the original or when it was first published, but the modern translation and the digitization of the original are both great resources for those studying the history and evolution of herbalism and herbal healing around the world.