Herbal medicine history - Culpepper circa 1820

this herbalist is giddy with excitement...

The British Herbal & Family Physician.  Culpepper, 1820.

My husband's grandfather was the resident doctor in a north-western NSW town for most of his adult life.  He passed away about five years ago and I was left some of his library - books on homeopathy, herbal medicine and acupuncture.  A world war two veteran, he doctored before the likes of antibiotics and was known to use anything that would make his patient feel better, including herbs.

This rare treasure, Culpepper's great work, is the foundation of traditional English herbal medicine from the turn of the century.  The above picture is one of  the line work, hand-painted illustrations from the back, included to help the reader identify the plant for picking. 

The bottom left daisy-like flower is yarrow.  Culpepper called this herb "drying and binding." Modern day herbalists class this herb as a styptic and use it to stop bleeding.  Our herbal history is still relevant, even if we would no longer choose to name the astrological sign the herb is aligned to (Venus for yarrow, just FYI).  It has allowed our modern science to understand why it works and to give us a new language to describe what traditional herbal doctors worked out through trial and error.

The herb-nerd in me just loves the history of it all...