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Herbal-Beads-art - 5/27/17


"Medieval Herbal Beads" by Baroness Anastasia Alexandrovna Andreeva, OL.


NOTE: See also the files: 15-16C-Flowrs-art, roses-art, lavender-msg, beads-msg, pearls-msg, Semi-Pre-Gems-art, rose-hips-msg, Psaltrs-Rose-lnks, rosaries-msg, Medvl-Rosary-art.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



Medieval Herbal Beads

by Baroness Anastasia Alexandrovna Andreeva (OL)

(class handout)



We are using Rose and Lavender to make beads. These are very common flowers that were often used for their medicinal properties as well as their beauty and scent. The pictures are from the 1st Century Greek Herbal of Dioscorides and Fuchs Herbal, which is early 1500's. This is to show that these particular flowers were used all throughout period.


The beads would have been used to make necklaces, paternoster beads, or just small sachets for chests and boxes to keep them smelling nice. The recipe on the right, is from the Elixirs of Nos- trodamus. It is a bit difficult to make so I have used a more accessible recipe for modern uses.


This recipe is originally from the "Herb Companion" (February/March 1993).

Braziller Inc, 1992


1/4 C dried Lavender

1/4 cup of dried Roses

water as needed

1 Tbl. Of  Flour

5 drops of lavender essential oil

5 drops of rose essential oil

Darning Needle

Linen Thread


Using a mortar and pestle grind the plant material to a fine powder. Mix the flowers and

flour in a bowl, add the essential oil, and enough water to make a dough, the consistency should be like craft clay. Add flour or water appropriately to make the right consistency. Pinch off bits of dough and roll them into beads between your palms to make a nice round shape.


String the beads onto a large thread, I am using a heavy gauge linen thread, with a large



Hang beads to dry, occasionally turning them to keep the hole clear. Store in an airtight container.


Lavender from Culpeppers Herbal and Dioscorides.


Roses from Dioscorides and Fuchs Herbal.



Herbal Bibliography

Arano, Luisa Cogliati The Medieval Health Handbook -- Tacuinum Sanitatis. George


Culpepper, Nicholas. Culpeper's Herbal. Arcturus, 2009


Dioscorides Pedanius of Anazarbos. The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides De Materia Medica 1st C. AD Translated by Goodyer, John 1592-1664 and Gunther, R. T 1869-1940


Fuchs, Leonhard, The Great herbal of Leonhart Fuchs, de historia stirpium commentaii Fuchs. Basle, 1543


Gerard, John. The Herbal or General History of Plants (1598) Enlarged and revised by Thomas Johnson Dover Publications 1975


Freeman, Margaret B. Herbs for the Mediaeval Houshold. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, U.S. A, 1979


Nostrodamus The Elixirs of Nostrodamus: Nostrodamus' Original Recipes for Elixirs, Scented Water, Beauty Potions and Sweetmeats. Moyer Bell Ltd., 1996


Piemontese, Alessio (G. Ruscelli) The secrets containing many excellent remedies against divers diseases, wounds, and other accidents. With the maner to make distillations, parfumes, confitures, Dyings, colours, fusions, and meltings. William Stansby for Richard Meighen and Thomas Iones, 1615



Copyright 2011 by Marilee Humason <stasiwa at yahoo.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited.  Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org