In Physica, Hildegard presents nine “books” of healing systems: Plants, Elements, Trees, Stones, Fish, Birds, Animals, Reptiles, and Metals. In each book she discusses the qualities of these natural creations and elaborates on their medicinal use, explaining how to prepare and apply different remedies. With its emphasis on balancing the humors, Physica has strong affinity with the Oriental medical approaches gaining great respect today. The modern reader interested in natural healing will recognize the enormous truth in the theories of this twelth-century physician, many of which prove effective today, serving as a reminder that our cures for illness depend on our natural world and our place in it. As Hildegard states in Physica, “With earth was the human being created. All the elements served mankind and, sensing that he was alive, they busied themselves in aiding his life in every way.”
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