Folk medicine (8 pages found in this category)

Astrological medicine

Astrological botany is based on the notion that if plants or seeds are to be used for medicinal purposes then their planting and collection must be carried out with regard to the positions of the planets and other heavenly bodies, which are at the heart of the disease process.

Black cat

The numerous folk beliefs about black cats, and cats in general, are often contradictory. Superstitions surrounding black cats are almost certainly some of the most prevalent even today, along with the number thirteen and walking under a ladder.


Medical condition caused by invisible elves or witches shooting invisible arrows at people or animals.

Fasting spittle

Saliva produced first thing in the morning, before breakfast, used to treat a wide variety of diseases for many hundreds of years.

Hortus Sanitatis

First natural history encyclopedia, published by Jacob Meydenbach in Mainz, Germany in 1491.

King’s Evil

Name given in medieval times to scrofula, a swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck caused by tuberculosis.


One of 2500 species of plants belonging to the Solanaceae family. Its psychoactive effects have been known to physicians since ancient times.

Plague stones

Hollowed out stones or boulders containing vinegar to disinfect coins, usually placed at or near parish boundaries, relics of medieval plagues.