After receiving her education in a Benedictine monastery, Saint Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179) went on to become the abbess of the Rupertsberg abbey near Bingen. She saw visions even as a little child. The mystic realized that recording them was God’s assignment when he was about 43 years old. Writings in the fields of medicine as well as theology, philosophy, and music were produced in this manner. The wealth of information offered inside is still quite current today.
The holistic approach to healing used in saints’ medicine is founded on the Christian conception of the human being. It sees the human body, mind, and soul as one cohesive entity and an essential component of the divine creation. Hildegard was skilled at fusing conventional medicine with folk remedies. Nearly 2000 prescriptions are contained in her book “Physika,” from which Austrian physician Dr. Gottfried Hertzka founded Hildegard medicine.
The five tenets of Hildegard of Bingen’s philosophy of health
These five pillars of health serve as the foundation for Saint Hildegard of Bingen‘s holistic approach to health:
- Feeding the soul: According to Hildegard, the soul should be balanced and brought into harmony via prayer, meditation, and a well-rounded daily schedule.
- Eating well: The Saints believed that all foods have inherent healing qualities. This needs to be applied with care.
- Enhancing mental fortifications: Hildegard of Bingen outlines 35 virtues and vices to achieve this. If this is acknowledged, the person can work with it to cleanse his soul.
- Getting the body clean: Hildegard von Bingen relies on body cleansing to lessen the effects of inadequate diet and harmful environmental factors. She accomplishes this using tried-and-true elimination techniques like cupping, bloodletting, or leech therapy. Fasting is also important in this situation.
- Continuity in behavior: A harmonious rhythm between waking and sleeping, as well as between work and leisure, makes a significant contribution to health, in Hildegard’s opinion.
Four elements and four juices
The following four juices were crucial to traditional medicine:
Yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm
The condition and disposition of a person are determined by these four juices in Saint Hildegard of Bingen’s medicine as well. The person becomes ill when they are out of balance. Hildegard von Bingen lists a number of treatments to bring the fluids back into harmony.
The four elements of fire, water, air, and earth are also included in the great scholar’s diagnosis at the same time. Both systems are intertwined for her.
Using botanicals and precious stones for healing
Hildegard von Bingen employs organic treatments. She finds important divine healing energies in all of creation, whether they are present in flowers, animals, or precious stones. She has a special emphasis on medicinal plants that affect the hormone system and metabolism. Based on these objects’ characteristics, she separates them into various groupings. There are plants that are cold, hot, warming, or neutral. There are those who add energy and people who take energy away.
These characteristics, in Hildegard’s opinion, are essential for the treatment of illnesses. For instance, cooling medicinal herbs are required to cure a sickness that involves a lot of heat. Conversely, warming medicinal plants are needed to treat illnesses that lead to a lack of warmth and energy.
Gemstones are said to have healing qualities by Hildegard von Bingen. She views them as divinely endowed natural resources whose benefits we ought to take use of.