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Hildegard medicine

Hildegard medicine is based on the wisdom of the saintly Hildegard (1098-1179), abbess of Bingen. The great mystic, composer and healer is considered to be the first important naturopath and herbalist of the Middle ages. Her teachings, based on the harmony between body and soul, are reflected in today's holistic approaches to prevention and healing. Hildegard medicine taps the available healing forces of nature to treat illness by restoring disrupted balance. Hildegard emphasized nutrition, primarily with use of spelt, a type of grain; detoxification, by fasting or bloodletting; and the use of remedies from plant, animal and mineral sources. Her writings offer recipes for 12000 such remedies, which apply to the most diverse symptoms and diseases.

According to Hildegard of Bingen, spelt is the "most nutritious grain", providing "right flesh and right blood". She recommends breads and soups containing spelt to purify the blood, strengthen the nerves and heal intestinal disorders. You can find spelt at most health food stores.

The Treatment: 
First comes an examination of the person as a whole, not just symptoms but lifestyle and temperament. The nutritional therapy consists of suggesting foods that are specifically adapted to the individual patient. Then purifying procedures, such as bloodletting, are recommended. Finally, stimulating herbal remedies are prescribed.

The goal of Hildegard medicine
Hildegard medicine is a means of regulating the systems of the body in relation to one another. The goal is to reverse the disruption of the natural balance in the body, which is the cause of the illness. This effect is achieved through appropriate nutrition, detoxification and nature based remedies.

The viewpoint of mainstream medicine
Some aspects of Hildegard medicine cannot be explained scientifically. However, holistic approaches to illness have been successful for a wide range of patients, who respond well to treatments that include more than chemical targeting of symptoms.

First aid : Try drinking carnation water for several weeks as a treatment for headache and toothache, dropsy and gout. Cover 4 carnations with ¾ cup cold water. Let it stand overnight before drinking.

Hildegard Basics

Hildegard's teachings were rooted in both classical and contemporary, that is, 12th century, scientific ideas. Today, we have found that many of these ideas have validity. The 3 basics of Hildegard's approach to healing - detoxification, nutrition and natural remedies, aim at purging the body of toxins, resupplying it with nutrients and treating specific disorders. Cumulatively, these three types of treatment lead the way back to health.

Depending on your symptoms, fasting or bloodletting may be recommended to rid the body of its toxins. In bloodletting, the physician chooses 1 of 3 different veins on the upper arm, from which blood is removed with a sterile needle.

Spelt is a cornerstone of nutrition in Hildegard medicine. Hildegard also considered the chestnut to be both preventive and healing.

Herbal remedies
Many of hildegard's herbal remedies are still used successfully, such as aloe compresses for stomach discomfort, horehound green parts for headache and stinging nettle salad for reducing stress.

Hildegard's Recipes

Herb wrap for rheumatism
Briefly fry ½ oz. of chopped parsley and 3 oz. of rue in a bit of olive oil. Let the herb's cool slightly. While the mixture is still somewhat warm, place it on painful joints and secure with a clean cloth or bandage. Do not eat any pork or pork products during this treatment.

Fennel for inflamed eyes
Grind ½ tsp. of fennel seeds. Mix the seeds with 2 tbsp. spelt flour and add enough purified water to make a thick paste. Keeping the inflamed eye closed, spread the paste on and around the eyelid and cover with a bandage or patch. As with anything you place on or near your eyes, make sure that the bandage or patch is clean and free of particles. The paste is said to be especially helpful for blue eyes.

Stinging nettle "spinach" to detoxify
This spinachlike dish purifies the stomach. It has a diuretic effect and thus helps to detoxify the body. Plus, nettles are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and iron. To make, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 5 oz. of fresh stinging nettle leaves; allow to sit for about 5 min. then mash and season them with pepper, salt and nutmeg.