Herbal Remedies

Saxon Leechdoms


These five remedies are to be found in 'Saxon Leechdoms' a nineteenth century translation of Old English


Sowbread Cyclamen hederafolium

“In case that a mans hair fall off, take this same wort, and put it into the nostrils.” Vol. I, p. 111


Sage Salvia Officinalis

 “... for itching of the settle, or seat, take this same wort salvia, seethe it in water, bathe the settle; it will relieve the itching in a high degree. ” Vol. I, p. 219.


Betony Betonica officinalis

“If a mans instrumenta genitalia be sore or puffed out, triturate betony in wine, bathe with that the sore and puffed up places.” Vol. II, p. 71.


Coriander Coriandrum sativum

“In case that round worms wax or grow about the navel, take this wort, which is named coriander, and by another name like that, cellender, seethe in oil to the third part; apply it to the sore, and also to the head.” Vol. 1, p. 219.


Fennel Foeniculum vulgare

“For sore of bladder, take a handful so green of this ... wort, which we named foeniculum, and a green root of marche, and a green root of earth navel, or asparagus, put them into a new crock, or earthen pot, and a sextarius full of water, boil them together to the fourth part. Let him drink then, fasting, for seven days or more, and let him use the bath ... without delay the sore of the bladder will be mitigated.” Vol. I, p. 239.


Leechdoms, Wortcunning and Starcraft of Early England. Collected and Edited by Rev. Oswald Cockayne, M.A. Cantab, Vol. I & II. Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts and Green, 1864

In Old English any healing herb – which means most of them – is a leech wort

Abi Fawcus