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Outlander Season 3 Summary of Medicinal Plant Remedies

Well after a long Droughtlander… Season 3 eventually hit our television screens in September. The following is the Outlander Season 3 Summary of Medicinal Plant Remedies.

Episode 3 – All Debts Paid

Murtagh and Jamie

Finally in episode 3 a medicinal plant, milk thistle, enters a scene and Murtagh is back!

Outlander Season 3 Summary of Medicinal Plant RemediesHowever, Jamie and Murtagh are in Ardmuir prison and Murtagh is poorly. He has had enough dam thistles. They chat about Claire. Click here to read more about milk thistle or Carduus marianus. 

Claire and Jamie are yet to be reunited. Consequently, Claire is still in Boston, in the future, though her life is just about to change…

Episode 6 – A. Malcolm

Claire with Dorcas, Peggy and Mollie

Probably, the most eagerly anticipated episode. Claire and Jamie reunited after 20 years.

The morning after, Claire is sitting in the brothel parlour eating breakfast. Due to mistaking Claire as the new girl, Dorcas offers to show Claire where the tubs are

“…ye can soak yer parts in warm water”. – Dorcas

“Make sure ye show the jars of sweet herbs. Put them in the water. Madame Jeanne likes us to smell sweet”. – Peggy

Sweet herbs are most probably aromatic plants from the Lamiaceae botanical family. Herbs such as lavender, rosemary, lemon balm, perhaps mint too.

Mollie suggests a warm bath helps stop a bairn from coming. As a result, Claire sees the opportunity to utilise her herbal knowledge

“Actually, mugwort is quite effective for stopping pregnancy. You take it as a warm infusion” – Claire

Outlander Season 3 Summary of Medicinal Plant Remedies
Mugwort – Artemisia vulgaris

You may remember in Season 2, Episode 2 titled “Not in Scotland Anymore”, Claire visits an apothecary store in France. There she meets and befriends Master Raymond.

After discovering Suzette (the lady’s maid) and Murtagh together, Claire returns to the apothecary in Episode 3. As a result, she asks Master Raymond’s help for birth control for Suzette. Master Raymond recommends mugwort.

Episode 7 – Crème De Menthe

Claire with Archibald Campbell and the apothecary

Wow that was a bit of rollercoaster episode…. Claire rushes off to the apothecary for plant medicines to try to save the exciseman from his severe head wound.

While there she meets Archibald Campbell asking advice for his sister Margaret. His request is for anything that might calm her nerves. In particular he mentions mandrake root and hemlock.

Mandrake root (Atropa mandragora) and Hemlock (Conium maculatum) are out of modern use. Hemlock is sedative to the motor nerves and muscles (Menzies-Trull). In Margaret’s case, her brother Archibald, probably heard of its use for excitability and mania. Hemlock is on the poison schedule.

Mandrake root had many traditional uses. Also believed sedative. Podophyllum peltatum is the American mandrake. A different species. I understand this is digestive in action.

Outlander Season 3 Summary of Medicinal Plant Remedies
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)

For the exciseman, Claire purchases a bottle of laudanum, some ground yarrow root and tormentil. Claire would select laudanum, opium based, as a painkiller.

Herbalists today prefer the aerial parts of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) rather than the root. It is astringent so Claire probably would have decocted the root to use to reduce bleeding. In addition, tormentil (Potentilla tormentilla or P. erecta) is also an astringent wound healer. It is high in tannins.

Thereafter, upon returning to the brothel and the ailing exciseman, she tries her hand at trepanation! Although Claire successfully releases the clot the exciseman inevitably ends up Crème de Menthe!

Claire with Archibald and Margaret Campbell
Outlander Season 3 Summary of Medicinal Plant Remedies
Valeriana officinalis – valerian

Later Claire visits Margaret Campbell. Her brother had given her a few drops of laudanum to keep her calm prior to Claire’s arrival. Poor Margaret certainly is very sombre, at least initially!

Margaret has trouble sleeping and has nightmares. She sits staring at the wall. Claire diagnoses a mental disorder.

She recommends mistletoe tea with a few drops of tansy oil. In addition she proposes valerian tea to help her sleep. Finally she insists no more laudanum!

Claire would have recommended the combination of Viscum album (mistletoe) and Valerian officinalis (valerian) for Margaret’s nervous disposition. Mistletoe is a sedative and tonic for anxiety, nervousness and panic attacks. Valerian is a muscle relaxant and sedative for anxiety, nervous tension and excitability. Both herbs very much still in use by herbalists today.

Keen Outlander fans may remember Claire gave Angus her port which included valerian. This was the episode titled The Gathering and before her marriage to Jamie. She planned to make Agnus sleepy. Unconscious he would miss her escape from Castle Leoch. Fortunately she tripped over a sleeping Jamie in the stables before being able to steal away with a horse.


BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine /
Diploma in Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Science

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