The use of herbal remedies and herbal medicine is nothing new in our society, available nearly everywhere that we turn. These all-natural medicinal options provide us with an alternative to the chemical laden pharmaceutical industry when dealing with a variety of different ailments.

Used as an effective treatment option long before recorded history, the World Health Organization now estimates that 80% of people worldwide rely on some form of herbal medicine as a component of their primary health care.

Once viewed as ‘magic,’ the knowledge of this various treatment options were recorded, in detail, in the book of shadows of each practitioner to allow them to pass this information onto the generations that would follow them. The Book of Shadows would include this information, along with various religious texts and other rituals and techniques that the practitioner had used, much like a modern textbook.

Source: British Library


Over the years many of these books have been lost and destroyed. In fact, the destruction of these books is so common that it led to the belief in many circles that a witch’s Book of Shadows is destroyed upon his or her death, taking with it all the knowledge and information that the witch had collected over the course of their lifetime.

One such book, however, has recently caught the attention of historians and medical practitioners alike. Originally written in Latin and then translated into Old English, dating back 1000 years, this manuscript focuses on nearly everything that one could hope to learn about the use of herbal medicine during that time period.

Source: British Library


‘Cotton MS Vitellius C III’ has not only been discovered, but it has also been digitalized by the British Library allowing them to share this remarkable work with anyone that is interested throughout the world. Through the use of their incredibly user-friendly zoom-in/zoom-out technology, their website provides an incredible opportunity to browse the pages and learn from the vast knowledge of its writer. Interested in learning more?


Click here to visit the British Library website and access the ‘Cotton MS Vitellius CIII’ for free.

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