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Viking & Ancient Nordic Medicine

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

The ancient Nordic people, also known as the Vikings, were a seafaring people from Scandinavia who lived from approximately the 8th to the 11th century AD. They were skilled sailors and warriors who traveled throughout Europe, raiding and trading with other cultures. They had a rich and diverse culture and worshiped a pantheon of gods and goddesses, including Odin, Thor, and Freya, and believed in an afterlife where warriors who died in battle would go to Valhalla.



In addition to their military prowess, the Vikings were skilled craftsmen and traders. They produced intricate metalwork, such as jewelry and weapons, and traded these goods throughout Europe and beyond. They also established settlements in Iceland, Greenland, and North America, and engaged in extensive trade with the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world.

The Vikings were also skilled in using herbs for medicinal purposes. Here are some of the herbal remedies used by the Vikings and ancient Nordic people:


1. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) - Yarrow was used as an antiseptic to clean wounds, stop bleeding and reduce inflammation.


2. Comfrey (Symphytum) - Comfrey was used to treat broken bones, bruises, sprains and other injuries.


3. Sage (Salvia officinalis) - Sage was used to treat sore throats, coughs, and fevers.


4. St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)- St. John's Wort was used to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia.



5. Angelica (Angelica archangelica)- Angelica was used to treat digestive problems, respiratory infections and menstrual cramps.


6. Elder (Sambucus nigra) - Elder was used to treat respiratory infections, fever and inflammation.



7. Garlic (Allium sativum) - Garlic was used as an antibiotic to treat infections.


8. Nettle (Urtica dioica) - Nettle was used to treat arthritis, allergies, and skin conditions.


9. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L) - Chamomile was used to treat insomnia, anxiety and digestive problems.


10. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) - Valerian was used to treat insomnia, anxiety and nervousness.



11. Birch (Betula) - Birch was used to treat skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as urinary tract infections.


12. Juniper (Juniperus communis) - Juniper was used to treat digestive problems and as a diuretic.


13. Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) - Meadowsweet was used to treat headaches, fever, and digestive problems.


14. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - Thyme was used to treat respiratory infections, coughs, and sore throats.


15. Wild Mint (Mentha arvensis) - Wild mint was used to treat digestive problems and as a pain reliever.

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