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The medicinal garden

or the garden of the Simple

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As early as the 5th century, monks spend time in gardens and use their notion of medicine by cultivating herbal medicines called simple cultivation. Throughout the period of the Middle Ages, care was mainly directed towards plague.

At the end of the 8th century, Charlemagne promulgated the Capitular de Villis containing a rule on the new organization of crops of plants.

It also sets up schools where the study of the simple is favored in pharmaceutical education. Besides, hospital orders are beginning to develop.
At the beginning of the 9th century, the plan of the Abbey of St. Gallen is the reference of the ideal garden, composed of three gardens: the medicinal garden, the vegetable garden and the orchard.

Did you know?

The simple are medicinal plants, provided by nature and used alone in contrast to medicines that contain several ingredients. The medicinal garden is therefore also called the garden of the simple.

What is the organization of the medicinal garden?

In the garden of the simple, plants are grouped according to their therapeutic indications like digestive disorders, pulmonary affections … It is composed of rectangular plots divided into several squares, and on each plot a plant is grown.

This structure has the advantage of heating the earth more quickly, protecting the roots from the cold and maintaining moisture on the ground. Flowers are also planted for decoration, usually the white lily and rose.


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