I'm still in the planning / designing / pseudo-research stages on a new book project. I expect there will be sketches posted on naomese soon. For now, these are the images and sites that are inspiring me right now.
The images above are from the bibliodyssey post botanical beasties.
The image below is from tribes of Burma.
Other bibliodyssey links I'm looking at right now: imagining midwifery; the pseudo-apuleius herbarium; Kyushu medical books two; early herb and gardening books.
Onto other, non-visual links and quotations. From the history of birth control:
In German folk medicine marjoram, thyme, parsely and lavender in tea form were used. The root of worm fern was used by German and French women and was also prescribed by a Greek physician in the time of Nero; in French it was called the “prostitute root”. Other ancient recipes called for a paste of mashed ants, foam from camels’ mouths, tail hairs of blacktail deer dissolved in bear fat. In modern times, women have been reported to use turpentine, castor oil, tansy tea, quinine water in which a rusty nail has been soaked, horseradish, ginger, epsom salts, ammonia, mustard, gin with iron filings, rosemary, lavender, and opium.
To abort a fetus at three months, the following receipe was used: 1 drachma each of cardamom seeds, wallflower (or stock,) myrrh, and wormwood. Let a woman insert it before taking a bath and drink pennyroyal wine. (Riddle, 1992, p.62) ... In addition to abortions, there were some natural anti-fertility medicines to avoid pregnancy. Some of these included fenugreek, mallow, pennyroyal, rue, birthwort, cyperus, arum root, cassia, reed, valerian, calamint root, and myrrh.
The Greeks used Silphium, known commonly as giant fennel. Its pungent sap was good in cough syrups and gave food a rich, distinctive taste. These plants were also known to have contraceptive and abortifacient properties. ... The demand for the plant was so great that by the third or fourth centuries, Silphium was extinct. Related plants survived, but were less effective.
The seeds of Queen Anne's Lace (a wild carrot) may have also been effective. Studies in rats show that the seeds inhibit both fetal and ovarian growth.Other links: Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance; abortion in the ancient and premodern world; natural herbs for contraception and abortion; silphium on wikipedia.
And one more pair of images, these are from a post titled aggregate.