The Healing Practices of the Knights Templar and Hospitaller: Plants, Charms, and Amulets of the Healers of the Crusades (Paperback)
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A detailed exploration of the remedies and methods used by the healers who journeyed along with the Crusading knights
• Presents a traditional “cure-all” or leechbook of the ailments the Crusaders would have encountered and the remedies their mediciners would have employed, including recipes for many cures and instructions
• Includes a comprehensive herbal, listing all the medicinal plants and materials needed to make the remedies, potions, elixirs, and unctions of the cure-all
• Details the author’s travels in the steps of the Crusader physicians where he met with healers still employing the mediciners’ practices
During the Crusades, chivalric knightly orders, such as the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller, brought along monastic mediciners to treat the sick and wounded. These mediciners not only employed the leading cures of medieval Europe but also learned new methods from the local folk-healers and Arabic healing traditions they encountered on their journeys.
Presenting a traditional “cure-all” or leechbook of the Crusader physicians, Jon Hughes shares a comprehensive encyclopedia of the ailments the Crusaders would have encountered and the remedies their mediciners would have employed. He details recipes for many cures and a range of magico-medical applications such as charms, spells, enchantments, and amulets used to address the new illnesses of strange and foreign lands. He includes a detailed and comprehensive herbal, listing all the plants and materials needed to make and administer the remedies of the cure-all. He also details his travels in the steps of the Crusader physicians throughout Poland, the Czech Republic, Malta, Morocco, and the island of Rhodes where he met with healers still following this healing path who shared their practices with him.
Revealing how the healers of the Crusades helped elevate Western medical knowledge through the integration of wisdom from their Middle Eastern counterparts, Hughes shows how their legacy continues through the many effective remedies and healing modalities still in use today.
About the Author
Jon G. Hughes, author of Celtic Sex Magic, is part of a lineage of druids that has been practicing for five generations in a remote area of Wales. He is now teaching the tradition at his home in western Ireland and gives workshops and seminars throughout Europe under his Welsh name of Cynon. He is the director of the Irish Centre for Druidic Practices.
“The Healing Practices of the Knights Templar and Hospitaller by Jon G. Hughes is a well-researched and fascinating look into the healing practices and related medicines of the early Crusaders. What makes this book all the more intriguing is the author’s personal journey of discovery, tracing the footsteps of the Crusaders across southern Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean as they made their way to the Holy Land and, hopefully, back again. Jon G. Hughes’s rediscovery of the many medicinal plants and spiritual healings is a journey of enlightenment. It’s also a story of East meets West, in that the warrior-monks adopted many of the Eastern healing practices and carried them back to western Europe. In many cases this knowledge and understanding is still in use some eight hundred years later. I have been waiting for a book of this nature for a very long time.”
— William F. Mann, author of The Last Refuge of the Knights Templar
“A truly fascinating investigation into medieval medicine, exploring how the European Crusaders learned of cures and remedies for a variety of aliments from the very people who were meant to be their enemies: the inhabitants of the Holy Land. A wonderful read, well researched, and easy to follow.”
— Graham Phillips, author of The Templars and the Ark of the Covenant
“A treasure trove of historic herbal research and lore awaits the reader—a comprehensive herbal, a traditional ‘cure-all’ of medieval ailments and remedies, and a travelogue of the author’s journeys. This book is a useful historical addition to any modern herbalist’s library and for all interested in medieval healing methods; medicine and the monastic and military orders; cross-cultural and interfaith exchanges of unusual cures, botanicals, and specialist herbal lore; the key role of field hospitals on a battlefield; and historic healing recipes ranging from ales, ointments, oils, and much more. Join in the footsteps of the monastic mediciners, Crusader physicians, and the healers of the Crusades and explore this texte vivant, a living text, of herbal lore for our time. Recommended!”
— Karen Ralls, Ph.D., historian and author of Knights Templar Encyclopedia and Medieval Mysteries
“An illuminating and well-researched insight into the medicinal knowledge of the Crusader knights, providing an excellent overview of the period as well as the author’s detailed account of his journey across parts of southern Europe and North Africa in search of the remnants of the Templars. The book’s largest section, the cures of the time, provides a sometimes gruesome but fascinating window into their practices. An essential book for those interested in the synthesis of medieval, lost Greco-Roman, and Arab-Turkish ideas that preempted the Renaissance in Europe.”
— Luke Eastwood, author of The Druid Garden and The Druid’s Primer