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Commonly Used Medicinal Plants

Section Contents


Introduction

The most common diseases during the middle ages were dysentery, epilepsy, influenza, diphtheria, scurvy, typhoid, smallpox, scabies, impetigo, leprosy, pneumonia, stroke, heart attack, scrofula (chronically swollen lymph nodes, later identified as a form of tuberculosis), St. Vitus' Dance (rheumatic chorea, a temporary disorder of the parts of the brain that control movement and coordination), and St. Anthony's Fire (ergotism, caused by ingesting toxic amounts of alkaloids produced by a fungus that infests rye - symptoms included gangrene with burning pain in the extremities, convulsions, hallucinations, and severe psychosis).

Plants listed in this section are those used most frequently to treat these and other illnesses. Quoted excerpts of treatments from medical texts were translated from Middle English by the Webmaster of this site.

Next page: Aloe - Comfrey.

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