A Page from the Herbal of Mistress Agnes – Dung and its Uses

Dung – that most useful substance, second only to urine and of course free. Well there be too many uses to write of them all here but Mistress Agnes thought she would just mentions a few in case you had an excess of the same to be disposed of. Manure, both animal and human is of course most efficacious when cast upon the soil to make the plants grow. ’Tis strewn around Mistress A’s herb garden with abandon.

Lords and Ladies Cuckoo Pint

The berries of the cuckoo–pint can be mixed with hot ox dung and spread on bread as a cure for gout. Fortunately, some may say, thou doth not eat it. Instead this be applied as a poultice. Powdered peacock dung be recommended for the falling sickness that now be called epilepsy (first catch your peacock).

The dried cow pat not only makes an excellent fuel but also purifies the air. It also be a wonderous ingredient in the cob from which the houses of Swords and Spindles folk are fashioned. The dried cow pat can be rubbed upon the face to exfoliate dead skin and scabs. Master Christopher’s colleagues in Ireland are recommending blowing dried human excrement in the eyes for curing of the cataracts.

Swords and Spindles are willing to share their knowledge of the medicine and herbal lore of their time but we do recommend that you do not try any of their ‘cures’ at home.


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