Dear Material Culture Historians,
A new free paper is now available to download, titled Plant Series, No. 8. MS408, Paris quadrifolia. The paper reveals some remarkable historic information about the use of the plant's toxins for treating conditions, diseases and infections. The plant also had religious significance due to its physical appearance, so it was believed to possess godly powers. These papers provide a good deal of information about the movement and distribution of medicinal plant materials in the Medieterranean during the Medieval.
In addition, it is a reminder that a 'material culture' includes substances used for medicinal application and tretaments, as well as the paraphernalia and equipment used by medics. As medicine progressed there was a gradual shift from the 'doctrine of signatures' (essentially homeopathy) toward medicines with proven scientific efficacy (allopathy). Quite interesting given the current curious episode in human history.
The download link is here: https://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/005139
Dr. Gerard Cheshire.
University of Bristol.