Hildegard von Bingen: Viriditas, the Healing Green Force

O most honored Greening Force,
You who roots in the Sun;
You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel
that earthly excellence fails to comprehend.
You are enfolded
in the weaving of divine mysteries.
You redden like the dawn
and you burn: flame of the Sun.
—Hildegard von Bingen, Causae et Curae
Hildegard von Bingen was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, Christian mystic, and herbalist born in 1098. She is considered by many to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany. This article explains her word viriditas: the "greening power of the Divine." Viriditas was the basis for her worldview, centered around the gardens, forests, and farmland that provided food and medicine for her. This blog article from The Irish Medical Herbalist explains some of the visionary ways that Hildegard lived in relationships with the plants, herbs, and trees available to her for medicine and that evolved into a European medicinal tradition, later influencing modern medicine all over the world. Read a translation of Hildegard's own words on herbal medicine in Hildegard von Bingen's Physica: The Complete English Translation of Her Classic Work on Health and Healing.