Uatis Studies Part 1 Gaulish Herbs

Uatis Gaulish Herbs

Achillea millefolium 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4 
Yarrow poultice could prevent infection, This herb is excellent for an excessive discharge of blood, old and new ulcers.

Sweet flag
Acorus calamus 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 1
The Gauls call it the pepper of bees, Piper Apum; the root is heated (taken as a drink) causes an urge to urinate. It is suitable for the rectum, chest, and liver; and for gripping, hernia, and convulsions. It reduces the spleen and helps those sick with dripping mucus and those poisoned by animal bites.

Dioscorides De materia medica Book 2
Driveaway inflammation, extract [draw out] splinters or thorns that run into the body, and repress gangrenous ulcers. The juice gargled purges the head of mucus, and poured into the nostrils; it stops toothache. It is put in the opposite nostril to the sore tooth. The Gauls call it Sapana.

Common Birthwort
Aristolochia clematitis
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3
Taken as a drink with water, it helps asthma, rickets, chills, the spleen, hernias, convulsions, and side pains. Applied, it extracts splinters and takes off scales on bones. With iris and honey it emarginates removes the edge of rotten ulcers, and cleans foul ulcers, and fills up their hollows. It also cleans gums and teeth. It is thought that all clematitis is good for these things. It grows in mountainous or warm, level places or else in rough, rocky areas. It is suitable for a severe fever; only let the one with the fever inhale the smoke over coals, and the fever will stop. Applied, it heals wounds. With the seed of dracunculus and honey, it helps malignancies in the nostrils. Boiled with oil or swine grease and rubbed on it cures chills. The Gauls call it Theximon.

Common Birthwort
Aristolochia clematitis
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3

Redstem wormwood 
Artemisia scoparia 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3
Boiled by itself (or with rice) and taken with honey, it kills threadworms and roundworms, loosening the bowels gently.

Artemisia vulgaris 
Marcellus, Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3
It helps womens’ womb congestion considerably and soothes slow, painful urination and rupture of the opisthotonum. Put into womens’ baths for driving out the menstrual flow and afterbirth, as an abortifacient, for the closure and inflammation of the womb, the breaking of stones urinary, kidney, and stoppage of urine. The Gauls call it Ponem.

Artemisia absinthium
See Celtic nard

Asarum europaeum 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 1
For pains in the head, new ulcers of the eyes, breasts inflamed after childbearing, and erysipelas [inflammatory skin disease]. The smell induces sleep. The Gauls call it Baccar.

Greater celandine
Chelidonium majus 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 2
Mixed with honey and boiled in a brass jar over coals is suitable for sharpening the sight. The leaves, roots, and fruit are juiced when they emerge in summer. This juice is dried in the shade and made into little balls. The root cures jaundice is taken in a drink with anisum and white wine, and is also applied with wine for herpes. It lessens toothache if chewed the Gauls called it Thona.

Spurge laurel
Daphne laureola 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4  
The leaves taken in a drink, either dried or fresh, expel phlegm through the bowels. It encourages vomiting and menstrual flow. Chewed, it draws mucus from the head, and it also urges sneezing. The leaves of this (pounded into small pieces and smeared on) helps headaches and burning of the stomach. They cease griping, taken as a drink with wine. The Gauls call it Ousubim.

Foeniculum vulgare Mill 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3
Taken as a drink it stops discharges of the bowels, helps those bitten by poisonous beasts, breaks stones [urinary, kidney], and cleans jaundice. A decoction of the leaves (taken as a drink) brings out milk [breastfeeding], and cleans women after childbirth. The Gauls called it Sistrameor.

Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3  
The leaves given to drink with hard wine are good for dysentery. The Gauls call it Gelasonen.

Climbing ivy
Hedera helix 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 2 
Taken in a drink of wine are good for dysentery, but it must be taken in a drink twice a day. The Gauls called it Subites.

Hyoscyamus niger
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4
Made into tablets and stored. First of all, the juice and that liquid made from the dry seed is made for suppositories to take away the pain, for sharp, hot mucus, ear pains, and the disorders of the womb. With meal or polenta, it is used for inflammation of the eyes and feet and other inflammation. Ten grains of the seeds taken in a drink with the seed of poppy, honey, and water do the same things and are also suitable for coughs, mucus, fluid discharges of the eyes and their other disorders, and for women’s menstrual cycle and other discharges of blood. Pounded into small pieces with wine and applied, it is good for gout, swollen genitals, and breasts swelled in childbirth. It is effective mixed with other poultices made to stop the pain. The leaves (made into little balls) are good to use in all medications — mixed with polenta or else applied by themselves. The Gauls called it Bilinuntiam.

Dyer’s woad
Isatis tinctorial 
Pliny Naturalis Historia, Book XIV 
(blue dye)

Juniperus communis
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 1
When burned the fumes drive away snakes, good for the stomach, good taken in drink for infirmities of the chest, coughs, gaseousness, griping, and the poisons of venomous creatures. It is also diuretic; as a result, it is good for convulsions and hernia and those who have congested or blocked wombs. Wine is also made from the berries. The Gauls called it Jupicellusum. 

Sea lavender
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4
The seed pounded into small pieces and taken in a drink with wine can help dysentery and abdominal cavities, Also helping women menstrual cycles the Gauls called it Iumbarum.

Huperzia selago
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 24.62
Similar to savin is the herb known as “selago.” Care is taken to gather it without the use of iron, the right hand being passed for the purpose through the left sleeve of the tunic, as though the gatherer were in the act of committing a theft. The clothing too must be white, the Feet bare and washed clean, and a sacrifice of bread and wine must be made before gathering it: it is carried also in a new napkin. The Druids of Gaul have pretended that this plant should be carried about the person as a preservative against accidents of all kinds, and that the smoke of it is extremely good for all maladies of the eyes.

lemon balm
Melissa officanlis
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3
A decoction of the leaves taken as a drink with wine, and also applied is good for those touched by scorpions or bitten by harvest spiders or dogs. A decoction of them is a warm pack for the same purposes. It is suitable for women’s hip baths, as a mouth rinse for toothache, and as an enema or suppository for dysentery. A decoction of the leaves taken as a drink with saltpetre potassium nitrate helps those who are ill from mushrooms or griping. Taken as a linctus [syrup] it helps difficult breathing, and applied with salt it dissolves scrofulous tumours [goitres] and cleans ulcers. Smeared on, it lessens the pains of gout. The Gauls call it Merisimorion.

Mentha pulegium
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3
Reduces the intensity of symptoms and is warming and digestive. Taken as a drink it expels the menstrual flow and the afterbirth, and is an abortifacient. Taken as a drink with salt and honey, it brings up stuff out of the lungs and helps the convulsed. Taken as a drink with posca [hot drinks] it soothes nausea and gnawing of the stomach. It draws out depressive matter through the intestines and is taken as a drink with wine. It helps those bitten by snakes. Applied with vinegar to the nostrils, it restores those who faint. Pounded dry and burnt, it strengthens the gums. Rubbed on with polenta, it soothes all inflammation. By itself, it is good for gout (applied) until redness appears. With waxy ointments, it extinguishes varos [smallpox pustules]. It is also suitable for the spleen used with salt. A decoction soothes itching washed on, and it is good as a bath for gaseousness, hardness, and inversions of the womb. It is also called blechon because when cattle taste it at its flowering time they are filled with bleating. The Gauls call it Albolon.

Water Milfoil
Myriophyllum spicatum
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4
Smeared on green or dry with vinegar this keeps sores of ulcers uninflamed. The Gauls called it Beliucandas

Prickly poppy
Papaver argemone 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 2
The leaves applied as a poultice take away argemae small white ulcers on the cornea and small clouds in the eye, and lessen inflammation the Gauls call it Corna

Plantago major 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 2
The leaves are drying and astringent. Therefore rubbed on they work against all malignancies, gangrenous ulceration, carbuncles malignant tumours, shingles, herpes, and epinyctis pustules which appear only at night. They form a skin over old irregular ulcers and heal chironian cheiralgia — pain in the hand. They are good applied with salt for dog bites, burns, inflammation, and parotitis inflamed glands, mumps, as well as the inflammation of bones, scrofulous tumors glandular swelling, goitres, and ulcers of the eyes. The Gauls call it Tarbidolopion,

Creeping cinquefoil
Potentilla reptans 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book4
Used as a mouthwash, it stops decaying ulcers in the mouth; gargled, it relieves roughness of the throat; and taken as a drink, it helps flowing bowels, dysentery, arthritis, and sciatica. The Gauls call it Pempedula.

Quercus robur 
See Mistletoe

Dwarf elderd
Sambucus ebulus 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4
Lessen inflammation and smeared on; they are good for burns and dog bites. Smeared on with bull or goat grease they heal hollow ulcers, and help gout. The Gauls call it Ducone

Water pimpernel
Samolus valerandi 
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 24.63
The Druids, also, have given the name of “samolus” to a certain plant which grows in humid localities. This too, they say, must be gathered fasting with the left hand, as a preservative against the maladies to which swine and cattle are subject. The person, too, who gathers it must be careful not to look behind him, nor must it be laid anywhere but in the troughs from which the cattle drink.

Solanum melongena
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4
The leaves are good for streptococcal skin infection and shingles with flour of polenta. By themselves (pounded into small pieces and applied), they cure ulcers on the eyes and aches. Smashed into small pieces with salt and spread, they help a burning stomach and dissolve inflammation of the parotid gland. Gently poured on with rosaceum, it is suitable for children with psoriasis. It is mixed with eyewashes instead of water or (with an egg) for rubbing on for sharp discharges. Dropped in the ears it helps earache. The Gauls called it Scubulum.

Celtic nard
Valeriana celtica 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 1
Tonic for the spleen, stomach, liver, and kidneys that could be taken with wine and wormwood. It is also used in warm compresses, liquid medicines, and warming ointments. 

Viscum album 
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 16.95 
Medicine and religious sacrament
Upon this occasion, we must not omit to mention the admiration that is lavished upon this plant by the Gauls. The Druids—for that is the name they give to their magicians— held nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and the tree that bears it, always supposing that tree to be the robur. Of itself the robur is selected by them to form whole groves, and they perform none of their religious rites without em- ploying branches of it; so much so, that it is very probable that the priests themselves may have received their name from the Greek name for that tree. In fact, it is the notion with them that everything that grows on it has been sent immediately from heaven, and that the mistletoe upon it is a proof that the tree has been selected by God himself as an object of his especial favour.

The mistletoe, however, is but rarely found upon the robur; and when found, is gathered with rites replete with religious awe. This is done more particularly on the fifth day of the moon, the day which is the beginning of their months and years, as also of their ages, which, with them, are but thirty years. This day they select because the moon, though not yet in the middle of her course, has already considerable power and influence; and they call her by a name which signifies, in their language, the all-healing. Having made all due preparation for the sacrifice and a banquet beneath the trees, they bring thither two white bulls, the horns of which are bound then for the first time. Clad in a white robe the priest ascends the tree, and cuts the mistletoe with a golden sickle, which is received by others in a white cloak. They then immolate the victims, offering up their prayers that God will render this gift of his propitious to those to whom he has so granted it. It is the belief with them that the mistletoe, taken in drink, will impart fecundity to all animals that are barren, and that it is an antidote for all poisons. Such are the religious feelings which we find entertained towards trifling objects among nearly all nations.

Veratrum album
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4
Must gather the roots at harvest time. It purges by causing vomiting, expelling matter of various colors. It is mixed with eye salves that are able to take away things that darken the pupils. It removes the menstrual flow, is applied as an abortifacient, and encourages sneezing. Kneaded with honey and polenta and boiled together with pieces of meat, it kills mice and decomposes them. It is given to those fasting either by itself or with sesame and barley water, honey water, porridge, lentils, or other sipping liquid. It is also made into bread and baked like wheat. The Gauls called it Laginum.

Peristereon, ‘pigeon plant’ or Verbenaca, ‘Vervain’
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 25.59
The people in the Gallic provinces make use of them both for soothsaying purposes, and for the prediction of future events, but it is the magicians more particularly that give utterance to such ridiculous follies in reference to this plant. Persons, they tell us, if they rub themselves with it will be sure to gain the object of their desires; and they assure us that it keeps away fevers, conciliates friendship, and is a cure for every possible disease; they say, too, that it must be gathered about the rising of the Dog-star—but so as not to be shone upon by sun or moon—and that honey-combs and honey must be first presented to the earth by way of expiation. They tell us also that a circle must first be traced around it with iron; after which it must be taken up with the left hand and raised aloft, care being taken to dry the leaves, stem, and root, separately in the shade. To these statements, they add, that if the banqueting couch is sprinkled with water in which it has been steeped, merriment and hilarity will be greatly promoted thereby.

Marcellus Empiricus—De medicamentis liber

We also have Marcellus Empiricus, a medical writer from Gaul 5th century, AD that lists 12 plants. A lot of his work is using older souces like above and also that of the people at that time. He suggests that certain plants are to be collected in the full moon without the use of Iron.

Some of the plants he mentions.
baditis (water lily, Nymphaea alba L.)
biricumus (mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris L.)
calliomarcus (colt’s foot, Tussilago farfara L.)
gigarus (snake lily, Dracunculus vulgaris Schott)
gilarus (thyme, Thymus serpyllum L.)
odocos (elder, Sambucus ebulus L.)
ratis (ferns, Pteridophyta)
visumarus (clover, Trifolium sp.)
viridis (alder, Alnus sp.)
blutthagio (buttercup, Ranunculus sp.)

Most of his recipes have a few different plant plant components to make magical formulas, charms, and incantations.


Xi exu crion, exu criglion, Aisus, scri-su mio velor exu gricon, exu grilau.

Rub out of the throat, out of the gullet, Esus, remove thou thyself the evil out of the throat, out of the gorge. De medicamentis

I will get into more of this in part 2.

So the above is what we have of Herbs of Gaul. Did the Gauls use them how Dioscorides lays out the ways to use each herb? I would think it would be in the same realm of thought as medicine and remedies are pretty universal at some levels. Dioscorides (40–90 CA ) was a Greek physician who traveled around a lot.

Now there are others that talk about Herbs of Gaul and I will get into that in another part.

This has been a big project that is happening very slowly when I have time. We will be exploring many worlds here from modern to old, practical to superstitions. This has been one of the Carnutians big projects that we would love to see complete, but in time, we have at the moment 4 parts, but those other articles need to be finalized. I’m not sure how I will release them maybe create a sperate blog role for all this as it will be a books worth of stuff.

Image is a modified image from a Carnutes Coin.

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