Hildegard von Bingen
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was the greatest female healer and visionary of her medieval times. She was a remarkable woman, a "first" in many fields. At a time when only very few women wrote, Hildegard composed major works of theology and mystic scriptures. She employed the powers of nature for healing, and wrote treaties about natural history and medicinal uses of plants, stones and trees.
She was born as a tenth child to a noble family in Bermersheim near Alzey. Hildegard was convent-educated by Benedictine nuns at a monastery near Bingen in the vicinity of the Rhine.
At the age of 43 she became the abbess of her community. However, this position did not keep her from pursuing an astonishing variety of creative and scholarly accomplishments. When few women were accorded respect, she corresponded with secular and ecclesiastical leaders, as well as with a vast range of people of influence.
Today historians know Hildegard for her correspondence with bishops, kings, popes, and abbots. Medical historians and botanists know her for her renowned writings on natural history and medicine. Her most eminent scriptures are “Causae et Curae“ (Causes and Healings) and „Physica“ (About Nature).
Due to her holistic and natural view of healing, as well as to her status as a mystic, Hildegard has also become a figure of reverence within the contemporary New Age movement. But there is more to Hildegard – she is remarkable enough in her own right. Her bequest and legacy are an inspiration for those of us who focus on a holistic approach to well-being and health.