Peruse 1,000-Year-Old Medical Remedies, from Ox Bile to Mandrake Root

Anglo-Saxon medicine relied primarily on plant-based remedies, from artichokes simmered in wine to cure smelly armpits to licorice root for soothing pains of the chest, liver, or bladder. Such natural treatments filled the pages of books known as “herbals.” The British Library owns the only extant illustrated Old English herbal, which is about 1,000 years old, and it recently digitized the entire manuscript and uploaded it online for public perusal.

 f.36v and f.37r of Cotton MS Vitellius C III (all images via the British Library and used under Public Domain)

f.36v and f.37r of Cotton MS Vitellius C III (all images via the British Library and used under Public Domain)