The ‘Cotton MS Vitelius C III,’ a thousand year-aged manual to plant pharmacology has been recently posted for online viewing.
The book contains natural herbal cures for maladies from body odor to chest pains. Illustrations of the plants and animals are beautifully rendered in fine detail next to their healing properties.
The manual listing includes the name of the plants and animals in different languages, ways to find and prepare them, and what ailments they can treat. The guide also includes the use of cumin, which was not widely available in England when the book was written.
Even if herbal medicine were used in Anglo-Saxon communities, this manual is the only existing manuscript with illustrations in the British Library.
There is a translated version of this manual in modern English that can be purchased online.