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The use of herbs and plants such as mandrake, datura, monkshood, cannabis, belladonna, henbane and hemlock were common ingredients in brews and ointments for medical purposes. As the fear of witches and Medieval witchcraft increased in Europe the Catholic Church included in its definition of witchcraft anyone with knowledge of herbs as ‘those who used herbs for cures did so only through a pact with the Devil, either explicit or implicit.’ Possession of such herbs, many of which did have psychedelic effects, was deemed as practising witchcraft and resulted in execution by burning in Europe. The abhoration of Medieval witchcraft and the persecution of witches led to the loss of medical understanding and the treatment of all sorts of diseases much of the medical knowledge of the times was subsequently lost. “

(Source: medieval-life-and-times.info)

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