Loch Shianta

Holy wells were very important in medieval times. Tobar Loch Shianta was the most celebrated healing well in Skye.

Loch Shianta
Healing the body

When it came to health, the Gaelic people understood the healing power of the indigenous plants all around them, including those on the shore. Plant remedies varied greatly, and please be advised that one ought to consult a professional herbalist in this regard.
The book Healing Threads by Mary Beith is well recommended for this topic. We offer a mere example of practices from Gaelic Scotland.

Move over each plant picture to reveal their Gaelic and English name
Plant remedies
  • Fiabhras neo Ceann goirt (Fever or Headache) - Crios Ch Chulainn (Meadowsweet)
  • Ainteas san t-Sil (Conjunctivitis) - Lus nan Leac (Eyebright)
  • Tchadh sa Bhroilleach (Chest complaints) - T an Dromain (Elderberry Tea)
  • Galairean sna h-irnean (Kidney Diseases - and Purifying the Blood) - Deanntagan (Nettles)
  • Br ghoirt (Stomach pain) - Tr-bhileach (Bogbean)
  • Laigse Fhala (Anaemia - or Stomach Tonic) - Bernan Brghde (Dandelion)
  • Creuchdan Craicinn (Skin Conditions) - Lus nam Ban-sdh (Foxglove) or Dail-chuach (Violet)
  • Losgadh (Burns) - Sbhrag (Primrose)
  • Cungaidh-leighis (Ointment for Wounds) - Lus Fala (Yarrow)
  • Luaisgeanach ("Nerves") - T an Fhraoich (Heather Tea)
  • Casan goirt (Sore feet/knees) - Duilleagan Ferna (Alder leaves) with Cinneach (Moss)
  • Ag rachadh a Chuirp (Rejuvenating the Body) - Brot Chil-Dhuilisg (Dulse Broth)

Medicine was also a professional activity. The Medieval dynasty of the Beaton family lasted for 400 years, and the Gaelic form of their name means son of life. The first known Beaton physician attended on King Robert I of Scotland early in the 14th century. The family served the Lords of the Isles in Islay, the Macleans of Duart in Mull, and the MacDonald chiefs in Skye.

quote
flower man

"Ann an gleannan osal tha cnoc beag, air chumadh taighe agus cmhdaichte le craobhan beag no nas coltaiche ri preasan a tha a fs gu ndarra. Air aon taobh tha loch le uisge tlth agus coltas air nach eil uisge sam bith a ruith bhuaithe. Tha uisge an locha a faotainn iomadh slighe tron chnoc agus a togail ceann air an taobh eile ann am fuarain a tha da-rribh forghlan. Tha iad sin uile a ruith asteach do ghlaic air chumadh uighe le grunnd de ghainmhich mhn agus anns a bheil mran isg bhig. Bhon lochan sin tha an t-uisge a sruthadh gu lidir ann an ln chun na mara. Ri taobh an lin tha tobar air a danamh de chloich agus craobhan beaga timcheall oirre ga falach on phoball. S e Loch Shianta an t-ainm a th air no an loch coisrigte. Bha uair a bhiodh mran dhaoine le iomadh galar a tadhal air an ite seo." (An t-Urr. Dmhnall Mrtainn, 1791)