In the medieval world, just about anything you could forage, or anything you could grow, had a use…or many uses. All kinds of plants, even things we would consider to be weeds, might be used for medicine, cooking, as strewing herbs to combat vermin and bad smells, or they might have sacred or magical uses.
Here is part two of last week’s popular post, with more examples of things we consider ordinary that the medieval people grew or gathered for extraordinary uses.
Flax: It is well known that the stems from this plant were used in the production of linen fabric, rope, bowstrings, wicks, and nets, in addition to a wide variety of other useful things. Its oil and seeds were used for cooking. Though we now know that eating too many of the seeds can poison you, apparently Charlemagne didn’t. He required his subjects to eat them as…
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