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Hildegard of Bingen's Medicine.
by Dr. Wighard Strehlow and Gottfried Hertzka. M.D. Translated from German by Karin Anderson Strehlow. 1988. Bear and Company, P.O. Drawer 2860, Santa Fe, NM 87504. Softcover. 161 pp. $9.95. ISBN 0-939680-44-0.

This book is a translation of some of the herbal and healing writings of Hildegard of Bingen, the twelfth century German abbess who is famous in German history and culture as a mystic, spiritual leader, and healer. The book is written by a research chemist and medical doctor who have extensive experience in the use of Bingen's remedies in the clinical setting. They have combed through her writings and have extracted from them the herbal and medical information. The chapters are presented referencing various organs with appropriate herbs and other remedies explained according to Bingen's mystical-religious philosophy of healing which includes the four-element and four-humor system which was popularized by Galen in the second century of the Common Era.

In the foreword, David Frawley notes that an understanding of Hildegard's system can draw parallels to the traditional energetic systems employed in Aurvedic and Chinese traditional healing which are becoming increasingly popular. Regardless of whether the reader accepts the heavy religious and spiritual tones that underlie and pervade this work, it is nevertheless an important contribution to the modern literature as it represents a significant aspect of the German healing tradition later popularized by the late Maria Treben, the Austrian herbalist whose book Health Through God's Pharmacy sold over three million copies worldwide. The book also contains a biography of St. Hildegard, various indices and a glossary of her terminology.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.