Healing Power of Celtic Plants

Healing Power of Celtic Plants


The Celts were a successful and vigorous people who spread all over Europe a few thousand years ago. Our knowledge of them has been growing rapidly over the last few decades. They practiced what many in the medical profession today say is crucial to good health- drinking copious quantities of pure spring water, eating fresh vegetables, fruit and grains, and taking plenty of exercise. They were also a shamanic people, treating their environment with respect. One of the most fascinating aspects of their culture was their use of plant medicine, and central to this was the use of herbs. Many of these herbs are still used clinically today to treat a range of conditions. Each of them is covered here in depth, explaining its history, myth and symbolism and also how to grow, preserve, prepare and use them. Uniquely, here, their properties are examined together with the scientific evidence that they work. Learn from the practice of our ancestors to improve your own health and lifestyle.


This is my kind of book ... and ‘music’ for the eyes ... having come from the land around Llyn-y-van-vach, that ‘small lake deep in the wildest part of Carmarthenshire’. This is not the usual fare for New Aeon introductions to one of the basic fundamentals of traditional folk-medicine and wort-lore but an erudite guide covering the history, myth and symbolism of twenty-five plants known to the British Celts and used by them medicinally. The author obviously believes that to fully understand a subject it is necessary to immerse yourself in the doctrines on Celtic medicine, together with a comprehensive study of the history and beliefs of the time. She has a BSc in Human Physiology and PhD from the School of Pharmacy, London University, in medicinal plant chemistry, has been on research trips to Africa and South America to collect plant material used as medicine, and collaborated with scientists around the world, publishing internationally in scientific journals. Immersed in the Celtic tradition, she runs workshops on Celtic Medicinal Plants and in ‘Healing Power of Celtic Plants’ reflects this tremendous depth of knowledge in a beautiful, evocative style of the bard. “I found myself living, deep in the countryside in a green, leafy, watery place, overlooking trees, meadows and hillsides with badger sets, and the deep blue hills of Wales in the distance. I was surrounded by plants that had been used as medicine for centuries, plants native to Britain, plants with a history. This magical place with its sacred wells and standing stones was steeped in Celtic mythology. I was drawn in, absorbed and seduced by ancient traditions kept alive by poets and story-tellers.” Intent on keeping her subject pure, Angela Paine consulted the twelfth century secular herbal, the book of the Physicians of Myddvai, which drew on ancient Celtic tradition. “As I began to collate my list of herbs from this early herbal I noted that not all of them were indigenous to Britain. Herbals of this period made frequent mention of plants imported to Britain by the Romans. No doubt the Celts had adopted many of these plants by this time but the ancient Celts probably would not have had access to many non-indigenous plants. I decided to concentrate only on plants native to Britain. From these, I selected those that we still use as medicine today, many of which have been extensively researched. This list of medicinal herbs was to become the body of the book.” It is often said that Magic is a blend of Science and Art and ‘Healing Power of Celtic Plants’ is the perfect scholarly blend without ever being dry or academic. I’m always being asked by students to recommend a serious, magical book on wort-lore and finally I have one that I can – hand on heart – and have already added to the recommended reading on the Arcanum course. Melusine Draco: Author and Principal at Coven of the Scales ~ Melusine Draco, amazon.co.uk/amazon.com/goodreads/waterstones

This is an absorbing work which covers the history, myth and symbolism of twenty-five plants known to the British Celts and used by them medicinally. From a healer’s or herbalist’s point of view, the most interesting aspect of the book is the information on the practical uses of the plants, including how to prepare them, doseage, and contraindications. By contrasting the ancient herbal use against the scientific evidence for their effectiveness. ...The bibliography is extremely extensive, as you would expect for such a work, giving plenty of avenues for further research. This is an excellent book which I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone interested in healing, with or without plants. ~ Esoteric Book Review

The author's scientific background with a doctorate in medicinal plant chemistry equips her well to understand the basic elements of healing plants. Most of the detail will be new in terms of history, botanical description, growing conditions, chemistry and practical use. There is even a note on side-effects, toxicity and contraindications. this book will be of most interest to practising herbalists but will appeal to the general reader interested in the therapeutic use of plants. ~ , Network Review

Fascinating....What makes this book so unusual, though, is that it does not just dwell in the past. A former researcher into the chemistry of medicinal plants, Paine turns her academic eye to more recent pharmaceutical history, which makes most enlightening reading. ~ , Sunday Telegraph

A fascinating read, in particular the history of Celtic medicine and the various herbs they used. A veritable compendium of herbal wisdom, this book could be enjoyed by anyone interested in alternative gardens, homeopathy and herbalism. Every herb is covered in great depth with an explanatino of its history, myth and symbolism. The author also examines the scientific evidence that herbs work. ~ , Light

The author goes into the myths and folklore surrounding these plants and explains simply and clearly how each plant works medicinally. Best of all she actually produces the scientific evidence that they work. This is a practical and fascinating reference book that will expand your appreaciation of Celtic herbal knowledge and help to improve your health. ~ , Mercury

This lady writes about her herbs with such a passion, as if she has sat all day and all night and conversed with each one, and then told its story herein. She has hand picked each one and talks of its personality, its chemistry, magic, how to take it, when not to take it! These herbs and plants are of this land, grown out of our heritage, our blood and sadly almost forgotten. I love this book and the author. It’s a great book to dip into. ~ Trish Fraser, Druid Network

Angela Paine
Angela Paine Angela Paine grew up on a hop farm in Kent. Her botanist father taught her about plants, taking her on walks in the nearby woods and explain...
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