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Cucumber And Cannabis, In A Collection Of Medical And Herbal Texts

Cucumber And Cannabis, In A Collection Of Medical And Herbal Texts

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1195

Shelfmark: Sloane MS 1975

Item number: f.44v

Length: 31.3

Width: 21.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This manuscript lists herbs and other plants, animals, and birds, and their medicinal uses. Each is illustrated, but the representations were apparently copied from other manuscripts, rather than from life (it would usually be very difficult to identify the subjects of the miniatures without the aid of the text). This manuscript is related to several others, which seem to have been made in the north of England, perhaps Durham. The Cucumber (Sicidis Agria) could be used for sore joints and gout. Cannabis was only recommended for external use: it could, for example, be pounded with grease and used to reduce swelling of the breasts.

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