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Hildegard von Bingen's Physica: The Complete English Translation of Her Classic Work on Health and Healing Hardcover – September 1, 1998
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"Saint, mystic, healer, visionary, fighter, Hildegard von Bingen stands as one of the great figures in the history of women in medicine. She was renowned for her healing work and her original theories of medicine." (Elisbeth Brooke, in Women Healers)
"Gives a good sense of 12th century herbalism based on humors, common superstition, and sprinkled with a dose of Bingen's mystical insights." (American Herb Association, Vol 16:2)
Original Language: Latin
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Top Customer Reviews
For modern scholars, it gives us an insight into the thoughts on and healing practices of the day. Von Bingen examines Humorism and the aspects of other plants, minerals, and animal and how they apply to remedies. Like many medieval works on health and healing, it is part religion, part observation, and part magic and whimsy (e.g., unicorn horns - though these could be represented by Narwhal horns).
As stated before, when looking for healing recipes and herbal facts, modern practitioners of the healing arts should be VERY cautious in applying any recipes found in these old texts. Not all of them are safe and if making use of animal parts, some may not be legal.
Other works that students may find interesting:
Medieval Herbal Remedies: The Old English Herbarium and Anglo-Saxon Medicine
Leechcraft: Early English Charms, Plantlore and Healing
Medieval Herbals: The Illustrative Traditions (The British Library Studies in Medieval Culture)
The Trotula: An English Translation of the Medieval Compendium of Women's Medicine (The Middle Ages Series)
This book a nice translation of one of Hildegard von Bingen's works.
The recipes that Hildegard uses are sometimes hard to do because I simply have no idea what some of the plants she uses are. She also uses wine a lot, which is new to me. I come from a tea tradition, so boiling things in wine is a true novelty. Maybe this is why I have not used it much since it can be very different from what I know. On the other hand, it has provided me wonderful new experiences in the herbal work! I have not used the mineral section yet, and only stuck to the plant section.
At the very least, it is a fascinating treatise on medieval medicine. I do recommend it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's ok I gained a new perspective on the subject. The book help with more in depth knowledgePublished 4 months ago by james carrington
Good information... It wasn't quite what I was looking for but I found it insightful.Published 5 months ago by Robyn
Item was in the exact same conditions as described. Just what i expected.Published 5 months ago by Mario
This book was a treasure trove of interesting facts, useful information, and entertaining lore. If you are a Hildegard fan but haven't read this you should love it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by bbgunn
Very simple and easy to read.
The sections on animals, meats, fish, and stones was very interesting. Read more
This is an essential volume for any herbalist. While the medical advice isn't necessarily useful in a time of antibiotics, the cosmic view that Hildegard had of humanity and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Magdalena