Macer's Herbal (2508 words)

Historical Context Essay


Macer's Herbal is a handwritten manuscript: a meticulous exploration of ‘the virtues' of forty-two herbs and a summary of countless diseases and the means by which to cure them. In some instances, where a particular herb was known to cure more than one illness, the ‘virtues' of a herb might number more than twenty. Within a proposed ‘virtue' of each herb, there are instructions for the preparation and application of the medicine. The Herbal contains a catalogue of decoctions, ointments, applications, ‘plaisters', a variety of beverages, tinctures and herbal solutions. It suggests alternative cures for the many complaints that were common in Macer's time.

Macer's Herbal was compiled in Cheshire in the fourteenth or …

O'Brien, Karen. "Macer's Herbal". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 November 2007
[, accessed 10 December 2016.]