Edith Sherwood Ph.D.

The Voynich Manuscript Decoded? Part II

Folio 38r Translation 
Figure 6 - V.M. Poppies

The one hundred and twenty six plant drawings in the V.M. were probably intended for use as an herbal. For example, Folio 38r represents a drawing of a leaf and pod of an opium poppy (meconia(7)) (Figure 6).

Figure 7 - Folio 38r translation

The deciphered text (Figure 7) discusses the extraction of the latex, containing the narcotic alkaloids (mecon opium), obtained by cutting the immature seed pods. Ancient surgeons in Europe and Asia used opium as a potent pain reliever. The Catholic Church, from approximately 1300 to 1500 A.D, banned the use of opium in Europe. The text from this folio appears to indicate that cultivation of opium poppies was prohibited, but, like today, this did not stop farmers from growing this plant.

  1. ↑ back The herb Meconia (white poppy) From the Anglo-Saxon Manuscript “Herbarium” of Apuleius Platonicus ca. A.D. 1000-1050
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