Knowledge on medicinal plants

This heritage includes knowledge of the plant's healing effects and the methods to assimilate these. People have always sought relief for various ailments and either picked wild plants or cultivated plants and used them for self-care, or contacted people who have knowledge about plant's effects.

A wooden table full of flowers, liquids and dried herbs.

Photo: Tim Hjelm/Upplandsmuseet (CC BY-NC-ND).

Category: Knowledge of nature and the universe

Geographical location: All of Sweden

Even today many people are interested in using plants to treat various disorders. For some, it is an expression of a desire to live more sustainably, and use the resources available in nature close by. It can include things such as making an ointment from marigolds, brewing tea from meadowsweet or rubbing a basil leaf on insect bites. The majority of plants in nature have been used at some point to try to prevent, treat or cure.

Much knowledge has spread to Sweden from the southern parts of Europe, especially through the monks and nuns in the monasteries who cultivated plants and treated people. Knowledge is transferred between people, and is mediated by people who are interested in plants and medicine. Much of the knowledge about medicinal plants is documented through cultural and medical history research, as well as by individuals and associations, who also keep the knowledge alive.