St. Hildegard made many contributions to the field of holistic health and wellness. The wisdom that she shared about natural healing, nutrition, and healthy living was a seed planted that now flourishes within the field of natural medicine.
In the mid 12th century, St. Hildegard recognized the health benefits of many herbs and spices and shared a basic recipe for biscuits or cookies that are commonly called “Hildegardplätzchen” (Hildegard’s Cookies). Today we might call them "Joy Cookies" as she says they lift any melancholia, open your heart, and bring you a sense of cheerfulness and joy.
In her book, Physica, St. Hildegard recommended the use of nutmeg for its healing powers and offered the following recipe.
“Nutmeg has great heat and good moderation in its powers. If a person eats nutmeg, it will open up their heart, make their judgment free from obstruction, and give them a good disposition. Take some nutmeg and an equal weight of cinnamon and a bit of cloves, and pulverize them. Then make small cakes with this and fine whole wheat flour and water. Eat them often. It will calm all bitterness of the heart and mind, open your heart and impaired senses, and make your mind cheerful. It purifies your senses and diminishes all harmful humors in you. It gives good liquid to your blood, and makes you strong.” - St. Hildegard von Bingen, Physica -1153AD
If we take this seed that was planted by St. Hildegard long ago into our current times within natural medicine, we see that nutmeg is known for many health benefits including the following:
Here’s a recipe for St. Hildegard’s cookies that I’ll share, based on her original ingredients, but adapted to our modern times. Enjoy!
The spice of nutmeg along with cinnamon, and cloves, all have their own health benefits that will support mental functions such as concentration, boost immune system and blood circulation, increase vitality, reduce tension, and improve mood. This will promote a sense of joy and ease in daily life and a good night’s sleep. Something we all would appreciate!
St. Hildegard’s Cookies
¾ cups butter
1 1/2 c. coconut sugar
1 egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
optional: 1 cup chopped almonds
The sweet aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves that arise in your kitchen will also bring a sense of joy and well-being! Enjoy and also don’t forget St. Hildegard’s view of moderation – finding balance in your activities and in your enjoyment of food.
We’ll try St. Hildegard’s Cookies of Joy, along with other healing recipes and remedies, in my upcoming classes, Healing with St. Hildegard, starting in April. Sign-up here to join us.
I was born in London, England, educated in Switzerland, and am fluent in English, German, Spanish, and French. I hold a Doctorate in Ministry Degree and Masters Degrees in Counseling Psychology and Education. Also, I am an accomplished artist and educator. I use all of this and much more when helping others heal their souls.