Uatis Studies – Samolouissus Gaulish Herb List

Gaulish Druidism, Gaulish Polytheism

Samolouissus – Plant Knowledge

Below is a list of herbs, our Senogalatis and Senodruides used. We are unsure exactly how the Gauls utilized some of these. Did the Gauls use them how Dioscorides, Pliny, Marcellus Empiricus, and others lay out how 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. 

This is for research purposes ONLY. What is written below should not be used as medical advice. Since we have a list of Gaulish Herbs, this will help us greatly develop a Gaulish worldview with the plants listed below in a spiritual and material context.
You will notice a few key points for utilizing magical practices, that being The moon phases, Collecting with the left hand (most of the time), the numbers nine and three, offerings before harvesting, and collecting with no Iron. This article will allow us to explore many realms, those being the practical, spiritual, and magical properties of the herbs listed below. So spend some time with them and learn the spirit within. Samolouissus is about learning in all realms of reading, doing, and writing. In time we will have new Herb lore based on the old.
A follow-up to this article will be released within Drunemeton

In the table of Contents, the (Gaulish names are in brackets)

Most of the works cited are as followed.

  • Pliny Naturalis Historia – John Bostock and H. T. Riley
    • Pliny the Elder was a Roman Naturalist and Philosopher born around 23 CE and Died around 79 CE. He spent much of his time in deep study. He writes a lot about The Senodruides and their magical/Ritual formulas. He mentions many things about the Gauls, such as metallurgy, Coral used to decorate Gaulish Swords and shields, different trees, and much more.
  • Dioscorides De materia medica – Osbaldeston and Rpa Wood
    • Pedanius Dioscorides was a Greek Physician born around 40 CE and Died around 90 CE. He was the main source for a long time regarding medical practices giving us the names of over 600 plants in his work. His work formed the core understanding of European pharmacopeia all the way into the 19th century.
  • Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber – Translations by Cunolugus Drugaisos, Thank you very much for your kindness in helping with this and your knowledge.
    • Marcellus Empiricus was a medical writer from Gaul around the 5th century, AD, that lists 11 plants. A lot of his work is using older sources like the 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.

      A couple of translations from De Medicamentis Liber that are useful but do not necessarily fit in with the list below.

      “Ad colum mirum remedium. Colo et omnibus intestinorum doloribus et tam hominibus quam iumentis ex hac re laborantibus efficacissime subvenit avis galerita, quae Gallice alauda dicitur, sive ipsa assata in cibo sumatur sive cum plumis suis combusta redigatur in cinerem atque ex eo diligentissime trito terna cocliaria ex aqua calida potui per triduum dentur.”
      A remarkable remedy for the colon. For the colon and for all pains of the intestines and moreso for men than domesticated animals suffering from this issue a hooded bird (crested lark) most effectively assists, which is called alauda in Gaulish, whether it is consumed roasted for dinner or being burnt up with its feathers it is reduced to ashes and from this completely ground three spoonfuls of hot water are able to be given for three days. 
      Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos.

      “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.

Useful reading 

Folk Knowledge regarding some of the Italic and Celtic tribes.
Marcus Cato – De re rustica

A Historical look into medical practices, now Aulus Cornelius Celsus does not attribute anything to Gaulish traditions, but he was supposedly from Narbonese around 25 BC – 50 AD.
Celsus – De medicina

The image above is a modified image from a Carnutes Coin. With Herbal Alchemy symbols (Spagyrics).

Table of Contents

Alder
Alnus sp
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. IX, line 131
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
“Herbam, quae Gallice vernetus dicitur, conteres et exprimes et sucum eius auriculae non audientis infundes; hoc remedium etiam dolorem emendat.”
The herb, which is called uernetus in Gaulish, you will crush and you will squeeze out and you will pour the juice into the non-hearing ear; this remedy also cures pain. 

Back to Table of Contents

Asarabacca
Asarum europaeum 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 1.9
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.

Back to Table of Contents

Betony
Betonica officinalis
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 25.46.1
The Vettones in Spain discovered the plant called vettonica in Gaul, serratula in Italy, and cestros or psychrotrophon by the Greeks, a plant more highly valued than any other. It springs up with an angular stem of two cubits, spreading out from the root leaves rather like those of lapathum, serrated, and with a purple fruiting-head. Its leaves are dried into a powder and used for very many purposes. From it are made a wine and a vinegar, good for the stomach and the eyesight. So great is its fame that the home in which it has been planted is considered to be safe from all dangers.

Back to Table of Contents

Birch
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 16.30.1
The latter is a Gallic tree, of a remarkable white colour and slenderness, a cause of terror as supplying the magistrates’ rods of office; it is also easily bent to make hoops and likewise the ribs of small baskets, and the Gauls extract from it bitumen by boiling. These trees are accompanied into the same regions by the may also, the most auspicious tree for supplying wedding torches, because according to the account of Masurius it was used for that purpose by the shepherds who carried off the Sabine women; but at the present time the hornbeam and the hazel are most usually employed for torches.

Back to Table of Contents

Brookweed
Samolus valerandi
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 24.63.1
The same authorities have called samoius (brook-weed) a plant growing in moist regions, which (they say) is to be gathered with the left hand by fasting persons to keep off the diseases of swine and oxen. As one gathers it one must not look at it, nor place the plant anywhere except in the trough, where it should be crushed for the animals to drink.

Back to Table of Contents

Buttercup
Ranunculus sp
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. IX, line 131
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
“Herbam, quae Gallice dicitur blutthagio, nascitur locis umidis, eam teres sucumque eius, etiamsi modicus fuerit, cum modico aceti confundes et pariter teres colatumque ac tepefactum auribus instillabis.”
The herb, which is called blutthagio in Gaulish, grows in moist places, you grind it and, even if there is just a little (juice), you mix the juice with a bit of vinegar and you stir it together and you drop it into the ears to protect them and warm them up. 

Back to Table of Contents

Celtic/Gallic Nard
Valeriana celtica 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 1
Tonic for the spleen, stomach, liver, and kidneys could be taken with wine and wormwood. It is also used in warm compresses, liquid medicines, and warming ointments. 
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 12.26.2, 21.79.1
Among them the Gallic kind is plucked with the root as well, and washed in wine, dried in a shady place, and done up with paper in small parcels; it does not differ much from the Indian nard, but it is lighter in weight than the Syrian. Its price is 3 denarii. In the case of these varieties the only way to test them is that the leaves must not be brittle and parched instead of merely dry. With Gallic nard there always grows the herb called little goat because of its offensive smell, like the smell of a goat; it is very much employed to adulterate nard, from which it is distinguished by having no stem and smaller leaves, and by its root, which is not bitter and also has no smell.
Since certain authorities, as I have said, have given to the root of Celtic valerian the name of rustic nard, I will now add the medicinal uses of Gallic nard also, which I mentioned when dealing with foreign trees, postponing fuller treatment to the present occasion. So for serpent bites it is useful in doses of two drachmae taken in wine, for flatulence of the colon in either water or wine, for troubles of the liver and kidneys, excessive bile, and dropsy, either by itself or with wormwood. It checks excessive attacks of menstruation.

Back to Table of Contents

Colt’s Foot
Tussilago farfara L
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. XVI, line 101
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
“Ad tussem remedium efficax: Herba, quae Gallice calliomarcus, Latine equi ungula vocatur, collecta luna vetere liduna die lovis siccata prius in ollam novam mittitur cum prunis ardentibus, quae intra ollam mitti debent; superficies sane eius argilla diligenter claudi debet et calamus inseri, per quem umor vel fumus caloris hauriatur intra os, donec arteria omnia et stomachum penetret.”
An effective remedy for a cough:  the herb, which is called calliomarcus in Gaulish, equi ungula in Latin, is collected during the old (waning) moon (Liduna?) on Thursday (die Iovis) dried beforehand it is put in a new jar with a burning plum, which ought to be put inside the jar; the top ought to be closed carefully with white clay and a reed ought to be inserted, through which moisture or smoke from the heat is drawn into the mouth, until it enters all the arteries and stomach. 
Note from Cunolugus Drugaisos
THURSDAY
– this is probably referring to a day of the waning phase of the moon rather than actual Thursday. 
LIDUNA – can’t find this Latin word anywhere. It may be (based on a commentary I found) that the author is using a Latinized word for the Gaulish name (liduna) for the moon along with the Roman name (luna). I looked in Delamarre and Matasović as well as the standard Latin dictionary (Lewis and Scott) and found nothing.

Back to Table of Contents

Comfrey
Symphytum
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 26.26.1
Halus also, which the Gauls call sil and the Veneti cotonea, cures pain in the side, as well as kidney troubles, sprains and ruptures. It is like ox-eunila, and the tops are like those of thyme. It is sweet and allays thirst. Its roots are in some districts light, in others dark.
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. XXXI, line 29
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
“Symphyti radix, quae herba Gallice halus dicitur, aut commanducatur aut usta et trita in potione datur adversum haemorrhoidas nimium profluentes.”
The Comfrey root, which herb is called halus in Gaulish, either chewed or burnt and ground up is placed in a draught (to fight) against hemorrhoids discharging excessively. 

Back to Table of Contents

Common Birthwort
Aristolochia clematitis
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3.6
Taken as a drink with water, it helps with 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, 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.

Back to Table of Contents

Climbing Ivy
Hedera helix 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 2.210 
Taken in a drink of wine is good for dysentery, but it must be taken in a drink twice a day. The Gauls called it Subites.

Back to Table of Contents

Clover
Trifolium sp
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. III, line 25
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
“Ad vertiginem capitis”
For dizziness of the head (vertigo)
“Trifolium herbam, quae Gallice dicitur visumarus, aqua frigida macerato et eam aquam diebus decem bibito sed ut herbam cotidie mutes.” 
The herb trifolium, which is called uisumarus in Gaulish, you soak in cold water and drink this water for ten days but you should change the herb daily. 

Back to Table of Contents

Clubmoss
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.

Back to Table of Contents

Creeping Cinquefoil
Potentilla reptans 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4.42
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.

Back to Table of Contents

Cudweed
Gnaphalium 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3.132  
The leaves given to drink with hard wine are good for dysentery. The Gauls call it Gelasonen.

Back to Table of Contents

Dwarf Elder
Sambucus ebulus 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4.175
The other kind is called chamaiacte. This has a creeping rhizome and is smaller and more herb-like, with a foursquare stalk that has many joints. The leaves are spread out at distances around every joint, like the
almond tree, cut-in all around, and longer, with a strong scent, and having a tuft on the top like that above, and with a similar flower and fruit. The long root lies underneath, the thickness of a finger. This has the same properties and uses as that above — drying, expelling water, yet bad for the stomach. The leaves (boiled as vegetables) purge phlegm and bile, and the stalks (boiled as a vegetable) do the same. The roots (boiled with wine
and given with meat) are good for dropsy. A decoction (taken as a drink) helps those bitten by vipers. Boiled with water for bathing it softens the womb and opens the vagina, and sets to rights any disorders around it. A
decoction of the fruit (taken as a drink with wine) does the same things, and rubbed on it darkens the hair. The new tender leaves (smeared on with polenta) 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. It is also called heliosacte, sylvestris sambucus, or euboica; the Romans call it ebulus, the Gauls, ducone, and the Dacians, olma.
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. VII, line 13
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
“Capillo nigrando et incrispando. His adiecta sunt quae phlegma et perfrictiones capitis deducunt.”
To make the hair black and curled. Added to those are those things which cure clammy moisture and chills of the head. 
“Herba, quae Graece acte, Latine ebulum, Gallice odocos dicitur, exprimitur etiam cum suis granis eiusque suco cotidie inlito pectine crines, qui inficiendi sunt, perducuntur.”
The herb, which is called acte in Greek, ebulum in Latin, odocos in Gaulish, is squeezed / pressed out also with its seeds and the  juice is spread with a saturated comb (in the juice)  daily over the hair, which is dyed.

Back to Table of Contents

Dyer’s Woad
Isatis tinctorial 
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 22.2.1
(blue dye)
Now I notice that some foreign peoples use certain plants on their persons both to make themselves more handsome and also to keep up traditional custom. At any rate among barbarian tribes the women stain the face, using, some one plant and some another; and the men too among the Daci and the Sarmatae tattoo their own bodies. In Gaul there is a plant like the plantain, called glastum; with it the wives of the Britons, and their daughters-in-law, stain all the body, and at certain religious ceremonies march along naked, with a colour resembling that of Ethiopians.

Back to Table of Contents

Eggplant
Solanum melongena
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4.71
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 eyewash 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.

Back to Table of Contents

Elderberry
Sambucus nigra
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4.174
Acte has two types; one is like a tree with reed-like branches — round, hollow, whitish and a good length. The three or four leaves are set at distances around the stem, like the carya , more jagged, and with a strong smell. On the top are branches or stalks on which are round tufts with white flowers, and a fruit like terminthos of a somewhat purplish black, growing
in clusters, full of juice, smacking of wine. It is also called arbor ursi, orsativa; the Romans call itsambucus, the Gauls, scobie, and the Dacians, seba.

Back to Table of Contents

Fennel
Foeniculum vulgare Mill 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3.82
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.

Back to Table of Contents

Ferns
Pteridophyta
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. XXV, line 37
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
“Herbae pteridis, id est filiculae, quae ratis Gallice dicitur quaeque in fago saepe nascitur, radices tunsae in potione ieiuno dantur cum vino coxarum doloribus laboranti.”
The herb pteris, it is a plant, which is called ratis in Gaulish and which often grows on the beech tree, the beaten roots are put into a small draught with wine for those suffering from pains of the hips. 

Back to Table of Contents

Feverfoullie
Centaurium erythraea
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 25.31.1
There is a second centaury, surnamed lepton, a plant with small leaves; some call it libadion, because it grows along the side of springs. It is like origanum but with narrower and longer leaves; it has an angular, bushy stem a span high, a flower like that of lychnis, a slight root of no use in medicine, but with healing qualities in its juice. The plant itself is gathered in autumn, and the juice is extracted from the leaves. Some cut up and soak the stems, extracting the juice at the end of eighteen days. This centaury the Romans call the ‘gall of earth’ on account of its extreme bitterness, while the Gauls call it exacum, because a draught of it evacuates from the body by stool all harmful drugs.

Back to Table of Contents

Greater Celandine
Chelidonium majus 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 2.211
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.

Back to Table of Contents

Hellebore
Veratrum album
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4.150
Must gather the roots at harvest time. It purges by causing vomiting and 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.
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 25.25.1
The Gauls when hunting dip their arrows in hellebore, and say that the meat when the flesh round the wound has been cut away tastes more tender. Flies too die if pounded white hellebore and milk are sprinkled about. Phthiriasis too is cured by the same preparation.
The Gauls called it Laginum.

Back to Table of Contents

Henbane
Hyoscyamus niger
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4.69
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 a 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 effectively 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.

Back to Table of Contents

Hyacinth
Hyacinthus orientalis
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 21.97.1
The hyacinth grows chiefly in Gaul. There they use it to impart a shade to the dye hysginum. The root is bulbous, and well known to slave-dealers, for applied in sweet wine it checks the signs of puberty, and does not let them develop. It relieves colic and counteracts the bites of spiders. It is diuretic. For snake bites, scorpion stings and jaundice its seed is given mixed with southern-wood.

Back to Table of Contents

Juniper
Juniperus communis
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 1.103
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 a diuretic; as a result, it is good for convulsions and hernia and for those who have congested or blocked wombs. Wine is also made from the berries. The Gauls called it Jupicellusum

Back to Table of Contents

Lemon Balm
Melissa officanlis
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3.118
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 tumors [goitres] and cleans ulcers. Smeared on, it lessens the pains of gout. The Gauls call it Merisimorion.

Back to Table of Contents

Limeum
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 27.76.1
Limeum is the name given by the Gauls to a plant that they use to make a drug, called by them deer poison, with which when hunting they poison their arrows. As much of the plant as is usually used for one arrow is mixed with three bushels of saliva stimulant, and when cattle are sick this mash is forced down their throats. Afterwards they must be tied to their stalls until they are purged — for they usually go wild — and if sweating ensues cold water should be poured over them.

Back to Table of Contents

Meadowsweet
Filipendula ulmaria
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 24.112.1
In my account of vine-supporting trees the tree called rumpotinus received a notice. When it does not support a vine there grows near it a plant called by the Gauls Rodarum. It has a stem with knots, like a twig of a fig-tree; the leaves are those of a nettle, whitish in the centre, but in course of time becoming red all over; the blossom is silvery. If the leaves are beaten up with old axle-grease, without being touched by iron, they are a sovereign remedy for tumours, inflammations and gatherings. After being rubbed with it the patient spits to his right three times. They say that the remedy is more efficacious if three persons of different nationalities do the rubbing from left to right.

Back to Table of Contents

Mistletoe
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 oak. Of itself, the oak is selected by them to form whole groves, and they perform none of their religious rites without employing 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 proof that the tree has been selected by God himself as an object of his special favor.
The mistletoe, however, is but rarely found upon the oak; 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, already has 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 white robes, 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 that we find entertained towards trifling objects among nearly all nations.

Back to Table of Contents

Mugwort
Artemisia vulgaris 
Marcellus, Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3.127
It helps women’s womb congestion considerably and soothes slow, painful urination and rupture of the opisthotonus. Put into women’s 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.
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. XXVI, line 41
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
Ad renium dolorem
Artemisia herba est, quam Gallice bricumum appel- lant; hanc ubi nascatur require et inventam mane ante solis ortum sinistra manu extrahes et ex ea nudos renes praecinges; quo facto singulari et praesentaneo remedio uteris.”

For kidney pain
Artemisia is an herb, which is called bricumum in Gaulish; seek this where it grows and extract the found herb with your left hand in the morning before the rising of the sun and from this you encircle the bare kidneys; by this action you make use of a unique and immediately effective remedy.  

Back to Table of Contents

Oak
Quercus robur 
Pliny, 
See Mistletoe

Back to Table of Contents

Peat Moss
Sphagnum
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 24.17.1
Sphagnos, or sphacos, or bryon, grows also, as I have pointed out, in Gaul. It is useful in the sits bath for uterine affections, and beaten up, and mixed with cress and salt water, it is also good for the knees and for swellings on the thighs. Taken in drink moreover, with wine and dry resin, it very quickly acts as a diuretic. Beaten up and drunk with wine and juniper berries, it drains off the water in dropsy.

Back to Table of Contents

Pennyroyal 
Mentha pulegium
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 3.36
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.

Back to Table of Contents

Pimpernel
Anagallis 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 2.209
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 is poured into the nostrils; it stops toothache. It is put in the opposite nostril to the sore tooth. The Gauls call it Sapana.

Back to Table of Contents

Pine
Pinus
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 37.11.3
The peasant women of Transpadane Gaul wear pieces of amber as necklaces, chiefly as an adornment, but also because of its medicinal properties. Amber, indeed, is supposed to be a prophylactic against tonsillitis and other affections of the pharynx, for the water near the Alps has properties that harm the human throat in various ways.

Back to Table of Contents

Plantain
Plantago major 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 2.153
The leaves are drying and astringent. Therefore rubbed on, they work against all malignancies, gangrenous ulceration, carbuncles, malignant tumors, 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 well applied with salt for dog bites, burns, inflammation, and parotitis inflamed glands, mumps, as well as the inflammation of bones, scrofulous tumors, glandular swelling, goiters, and ulcers of the eyes. The Gauls call it Tarbidolopion.

Back to Table of Contents

Prickly Poppy
Papaver argemone 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 2.208
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.

Back to Table of Contents

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.

Back to Table of Contents

Rue
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 20.51.1
the Gallic variety, is one of the chief ingredients of antidotes. Any sort of rue, however, is even by itself a powerful antidote, the pounded leaves being taken in wine, especially against aconite and mistletoe; likewise, whether given in drink or in food, against poisonous fungi. In like manner it counteracts the bites of serpents, seeing that weasels, when about to fight with them, first protect themselves by eating rue. Rue is good for stings of scorpions and for those of spiders, bees, hornets and wasps, for injuries caused by cantharides and salamanders, and for the bites of mad dogs. The juice is drunk in wine in doses of one acetabulum, and the leaves pounded or chewed are applied with honey and salt, or after boiling with vinegar and pitch. It is said that any besmeared with its juice, and even those having it on their persons, are never stung by these poisonous creatures, and that serpents avoid the fumes that come from burning rue.

Back to Table of Contents

Snake Lily
Dracunculus vulgaris Schott
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. X, line 58
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
“Polypum emendat herba proserpinalis quae Graece draconteum, Gallice gigarus appellatur, vel si sucus eius naribus infundatur vel si papyrus inde infecta et specillo involuta naribus inseratur et postera die educatur.”
A polyp is cured by the herb of Persephone which is called draconteum in Greek, gigarus in Gaulish, either if its juice is poured into the nostrils or if papyrus saturated with it and wrapped around a probe is inserted into the nostrils and is taken out the following day.

Back to Table of Contents

Spurge Laurel
Daphne laureola 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4.148  
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) help with headaches and burning of the stomach. They cease griping, taken as a drink with wine. The Gauls call it Ousubim.

Back to Table of Contents

Sweet Flag
Acorus calamus 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 1.2
The Gauls call it the pepper of bees, Piper Apum; the root is heated (taken as a drink) and 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.

Back to Table of Contents

Thyme
Thymus serpyllum
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. XI, line 10
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
Vitiis labiorum et gingivis et oscidini et oris ulceribus et fetori et linguae pusulis et palati exulcerationi remedia physica et rationabilia diversa de experimentis.
“Serpullum herbam, quam Galli gilarum dicunt, ieiunus diu commanducet, cui os fetebit, et gluttiat.”

Physical remedies for defects of the lips and gums and sores of the lips and mouth and bad smells and sores of the tongue and soreness of the palate and different reasonable differences according to experiments. 
The serpullum herb, which the Gauls call gilarus, a person fasting for a long time should chew up, to whom the mouth will stink, and should swallow. 

Back to Table of Contents

Peristereon, ‘pigeon plant’ or Verbenaca, ‘Vervain’
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 25.59.1
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 utterances 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.

Back to Table of Contents

Wallflower
Erysimum
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 22.75.1
Irio I have said when dealing with cereals to be like sesame, and to be called by the Greeks erysimon. The Gauls call it vela. It is a bushy plant with leaves like those of rocket, but a little narrower, and with a seed like that of cress, being with honey very good for coughs and for expectoration of pus. It is also given for jaundice and for affections of the loins, for pleurisy, colic and coeliac troubles. It is applied moreover to parotid abscesses and to cancerous sores, in water or sometimes with honey to inflamed testicles, and is also very good for babies. With honey and figs it is used for complaints of the anus and for diseases of the joints, besides being when taken in drink efficacious against poisons. It also cures asthma, and fistulas also if mixed with old axle-grease, but care must be taken not to let the application touch the interior.

Back to Table of Contents

Water Lily
Nymphaea alba L
Marcellus Empiricus – De Medicamentis Liber, Cap. XXXIII, line 63
(Translation by Cunolugus Drugaisos)
“Herba est, quae Graece nymphaea, Latine clava Herculis, Gallice baditis appellatur; eius radix contunditur et ex aceto edenda datur puero per continuos decem dies, mirandum in modum fiet eunuchus.” 
There is a herb, which is called nymphaea in Greek, club of Hercules in Latin, baditis in Gaulish; its root is crushed (pulverized) and having been brought forth from vinegar it is given to a boy for ten continuous days, in a marvelous way a eunuch will have been made. 
Note by Cunolugus Drugaisos
EUNUCH – probably referring to a priest of Cybele (called a Gallus ironically enough), who were castrated. However, it could also mean a man who is not inclined to marry or have children.

Back to Table of Contents

Water Milfoil
Myriophyllum spicatum
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4.115
Smeared on green or dry with vinegar, this keeps sores of ulcers uninflamed. The Gauls called it Beliucandas.

Back to Table of Contents

Water Pimpernel
Samolus valerandi 
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 24.63
The Druids, also have given the name of “samolus” to a certain plant that 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.

Back to Table of Contents

White Maple
Pliny Naturalis Historia, 16.26.1
The maple, which is of about the same size as the lime, is second only to the citrus in its elegance as a material for cabinet-making and in the finish it allows of. It is of several kinds: the white maple, an exceptionally light-coloured wood, is called Gallic maple, and grows in Italy north of the Po, and on the other side of the Alps.

Back to Table of Contents

Wintergreen
Leimonion
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4.16
The seed, pounded into small pieces and taken in a drink with wine, can help with dysentery, and abdominal cavities Also help with women’s menstrual cycles. The Gauls called it Iumbarum.

Back to Table of Contents

Wormwood
Artemisia absinthium
See Celtic nard

Back to Table of Contents

Yarrow 
Achillea millefolium 
Dioscorides De materia medica Book 4.103 
Yarrow poultice could prevent infection, This herb is excellent for an excessive discharge of blood, and old and new ulcers.

Back to Table of Contents

2 Comments

  1. Fyi i have a copy of the Dioscorides De materia medica … was too curious about this one

    Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s