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Observations placeholder

Bingen, Hildegard of - Ginger



Type of Spiritual Experience


Failing body

Irritated eyes

According to Hildegard Ginger helps with the following

  • Misty eyes [please note that we do not recommend using this , we are simply reproducing what she says, as Ginger has  antibacterial action, it may well have helped eye infections in her day]
  • Constipation
  • Stomach
  • Pimply eruptions
  • Vicht- is a metabolic disorder leading to tiredness and weakness
  • Purgative- strongly laxative in effect.

A description of the experience

Hildegard von Bingen’s Physica – translated by Priscilla Throop from the Latin

Ginger (ingeber) is very hot and easily diffuses itself. It is injurious as food for a healthy or fat person. It makes him ignorant, languid, and lewd. But, one whose body is dry and almost failing should pulverize ginger and consume the powder in broth, on an empty stomach. He may even eat a moderate amount of it with bread. He will get better. As soon as he is better, he should not eat it, lest he be injured by it.

One who has oozing, irritated eyes should tie pulverized ginger in a cloth and place it in wine, so that the wine becomes dark colored. At night, when he goes to bed, he should smear this wine around his eyes and eyelids. If a little gets into his eyes, it will not harm him. It will take away the pus, and the irritation, from his eyes.

[As long as a person has eyesight, this is able to help his eyes; after he has lost his sight, it will not benefit him. One whose eyes are misty should take equal measures of rue and hyssop sap and add three times as much of the above-mentioned wine. He should pour this into a bronze vessel, so that it may retain its power. At night, when he goes to bed, let him smear it around the outside of the eyes and eyelids. If a bit touches the eyes, it will not harm them. Let him do this often, and the mistiness of his eyes will vanish. One who suffers constipation in his stomach or intestines should pulverize ginger and mix it with a little sap of bugloss. He should make little cakes with this powder and flour of the broad bean, and cook them in an oven in which the heat of the fire has abated a bit. Eating these cakes, on an empty stomach or with food, will diminish the foulness of the stomach and strengthen the person. A person who suffers from any stomach ailment should pulverize ginger with twice as much galingale and a half portion of zedoary. He should place this powder in wine and drink it frequently, after a meal and at night, when going to bed. His stomach will be better.]

And, one who has pimply eruptions on his body should place the above-mentioned powder, tied in a cloth, in vinegar and add a bit of wine (if he has it) so it doesn't become too dark. He should smear his skin where the eruptions are, and he will be cured.

[However, a person whom vicht torments should pulverize a bit of ginger with more cinnamon. He should take less sage than ginger, and more fennel than sage, and a little more tansy than sage, and crush them to a juice in a mortar, and strain it through a cloth. Then he should cook a bit of honey in wine, and add a little white pepper or, if he doesn't have that, a little moneys/ort, and put it in the powder and juice. Afterward, he should take duckweed, and twice as much tormentil, and mustard which grows in the field-as much as the tormentil, but less than the duckweed (sic). He should rub this to a juice in a mortar, and place it in a little bag, and pour the honeyed wine mixture over it, and make a clear drink. One who suffers the above-mentioned pain should, on an empty stomach, drink as much of this potion as he can in one breath. He should do the same thing at night when he goes to bed, and continue until he is well. A person who wants to make and consume purgatives should pulverize and strain ginger with half as much licorice, and a third as much zedoary as ginger. Then he should weigh this powder all together, and take as much sugar as the weight of this powder. All this should be equal to the weight of thirty pennies. Then he should take-from the purest, finely ground whole wheat flour-as much flour as is held in a half nut shell, and as much of the milky juice of the soapwort as the slit feather of a scribe is capable of holding in its incision. And so, from the foresaid powder, flour, and soapwort milk, he should make the very thinnest lump of dough or little cake. He should divide this lump into four parts, and dry it in the March or April sun. In those months the rays of the sun are so tempered that they are neither too hot nor too cold, and are especially healthful. If one does not have soapwort milk in those months, he must delay until May, and dry this little cake in the May sun, carefully watching for the proper amout of time. One who then wants to consume a purgative should eat a quarter of the cake, on an empty stomach. If his stomach is so strong and hard that it doesn’t feel the effect of the purgative, let him again take half of another quarter of this cake, and smear it completely with soapwort milk. He should eat this, after drying it again in the sun, on an empty stomach. Before anyone takes a purgative, he should warm himself if he is cold, and then eat it. After he eats it, he should rest in bed, calmly keeping watch; when he rises, he should walk here and there in moderation, so that he does not suffer cold. After the loosening, he should eat wheat bread, not dry but dipped in a liquid. He may eat young chickens, and pork, and other agreeable meats. He should avoid coarse bread, beef, fish, and other crude and roasted foods, except roasted pears. He should also abstain from cheese and raw vegetables and fruits. He may drink wine in moderation, but should avoid water. He should also flee the brightness of the sun, and continue this regimen for three days.]


The source of the experience

Bingen, Hildegard of

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Skin diseases
Stomach disease