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Epilogue: The Olitory

Epilogue: The Olitory

In olden times the Olitory, or Herb-garden, formed an important annex to all demesnes having any pretensions to completeness, and was under "My Lady's" special charge. In fact, the culture and preparing of Herbal Simples formed a part of every lady's education.

Epilogue: The Olitory

In olden times the Olitory, or Herb-garden, formed an important annex to all demesnes having any pretensions to completeness, and was under "My Lady's" special charge. In fact, the culture and preparing of Herbal Simples formed a part of every lady's education.

"My Lord's" retainers and tenants, when out of sorts, were treated with these wholesome remedies, and were directed to find in Herbal Simples the cure for all ordinary ailments.

Good George Herbert, of Country Parson celebrity, taught, 1620:-- "In the knowledge of Herbal Simples, wherein the manifold wisdom of God is wonderfully to be seen, one thing should be carefully observed, which is, to know what herbs may be used instead of drugs of the same nature, and to make the garden the shop; for, home-bred medicines are both more easy for the Parson's purse, and more familiar for all men's bodies. So where the Apothecary useth either for loosing, Rhubarb, or for binding, Bole Armena; the Parson useth Damask, or White Roses for the one, and Plantain, Shepherd's Purse, or Knotgrass for the other: and that with better success. As for Spices, he doth not only prefer home-bred things before them, but condemns them for vanities, and so shuts them out of his family, esteeming that there is no spice comparable of herbs to Rosemary, Thyme, Savory, Mints: and of seeds to Fennel and Carraway. Accordingly for salves his wife seeks not the city, but prefers her garden and fields, before all outlandish gums. And, surely, Hyssop, Valerian, Mercury, Adder's tongue, Yarrow, Melilot, and St. John's Wort, made into a salve, and Elder, Camomile, Mallows, Comphrey, and Smallage, made into a poultice have done great, and rare cures!"

William Thomas Fernie, Author of Herbal Simples, 1895

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