In France during the time of the Black Plague, there is a legend about four young brothers whose parents were herbalists. Their family faced financial hardship due to the plague, and they needed a solution to survive. Desperate, the brothers turned to a “secret” herbal recipe that they believed could protect them from the deadly disease. They resorted to robbing graveyards and the homes of the sick and dying. Eventually, they were apprehended, and in exchange for their freedom, they shared their life-saving concoction.
The recipe for their potion varies in different versions of the legend but generally includes a blend of ingredients like vinegar, rosemary, sage, camphor, lavender, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and lemon. However, since this is a legend, the veracity of the story remains uncertain, and historical evidence suggests that many essential oils were not widely available in France during that era.
Regardless of the legend’s authenticity, it is a reminder of the potential benefits of plant compounds for the skin, body, and mind. Herbal remedies have been used for centuries for their various properties and therapeutic effects.