Tag Archives: plants

Inset in the text, a wood cut of an Iris plant in bloom, July 13

A New Herbal in the Collection

By Margaret Kaiser The Library has recently acquired a rare work on medicinal plants by Leonhart Fuchs: Le Benefice commun de tout le monde, ou commodité de vie d’un chascun, pour la conservation de santé [the common benefit of all, for the preservation of health], 1555-56. The book is a very small volume, about 4 […]

A botanical Illustration of a Dandelion flower. June 07

The Dandelion

By Anne Rothfeld The dandelion—a quaint, yellow-flowered, perennial herb loathed by homeowners and gardeners—was once praised for its many useful properties: its roots for medicinal remedies; its flowers for wine; its bitter, earthy leaves for cooking.  Similar to chicory, the dandelion’s stalk stands tall with its sweet-smelling flower head, which turns into a downy ball […]

Colored botanical illustration of a dandelion plant. April 14

Some of the Most Beautiful Herbals

By Michael North This post is the sixth in a series exploring the National Library of Medicine’s rich and varied collection of “herbals,” which are books devoted to the description of medicinal plants (and sometimes other natural substances) with instructions on how to use them to treat illness. The Library’s herbals are some of the […]

Bontanical illustration of a branch with large oval leaves and stems with clusters of small pink flowers. March 22

Colonialism and the Plant Hunters

By Michael North This post is the fifth in a series exploring the National Library of Medicine’s rich and varied collection of “herbals,” which are books devoted to the description of medicinal plants (and sometimes other natural substances) with instructions on how to use them to treat illness. The Library’s herbals are some of the […]

An open book showing a hand drawn circular map of water and landmasses. January 21

The Wonders of Creation

By Homira Pashai The National Library of Medicine holds an important collection of over 200 manuscripts dating back to the eleventh century in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish relating to health and medicine. Many of them contain colorful illustrations and calligraphy. Among the collection of over 30 Persian manuscripts, there are a few illustrated copies […]

Text block surrounded by flowers and butterflies. January 06

Research Reborn: Dioscorides and Mattioli

By Michael North This post is the fourth in a series exploring the National Library of Medicine’s rich and varied collection of “herbals,” which are books devoted to the description of medicinal plants (and sometimes other natural substances) with instructions on how to use them to treat illness. The Library’s herbals are some of the […]

A colored illustration of a corn plant. September 29

A German Botanical Renaissance

By Michael North This post is the third in a series exploring the National Library of Medicine’s rich and varied collection of “herbals,” which are books devoted to the description of medicinal plants (and sometimes other natural substances) with instructions on how to use them to treat illness. The Library’s herbals are some of the […]