A 1000 year old Cookie recipe that calms your Nerves

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Hildegard von Bingen

Hildegard von Bingen, anno 1098 to 1179

According to Hildegard von Bingen ancient written recipe these cookies calm your Nerves

The spices strengthen the five senses: a clear vision, acute hearing, a fine taste, sense of smell and a sensitive touch

Hildegard von Bingen was a German Benedictine nun who was a natural and medicinal scholar at the Monastery of Rupertsberg at Bingen am Rhein

Hildegard von Bingen (by Wikimedia)

Hildegard von Bingen is considered the first representative of German mysticism in the Middle Ages. Her work deals with religion, medicine, music, ethics and cosmology etc. An extensive correspondence from her has been preserved, which also contains clear admonitions towards high-ranking contemporaries, as well as reports on long pastoral journeys and her public preaching activities.

Hildegard’s achievement lies, among other things, in the fact that she combined the knowledge of the time about diseases and plants from the Greek-Latin tradition with that of folk medicine and used the German plant names. Above all, she developed her own views on the origin of diseases, physicality and sexuality. She did not develop her own medical procedures, but merely collected already known treatment methods from various sources.

  • Hildegard von Bingen writings
  • Hildegard von Bingen Motherhood from the spirit and water anno 1165 (per Wikimedia)
  • Monastery Hildegard von Bingen
  • Rupertsberg Monastery Hildegard von Bingen
  • Rupertsberg Monastery Hildegard von Bingen
  • Liber Divonorum Operum, Hildegart von Bingen (by Wikimedia)

Hildegard von Bingen writings:

Liber simplicis medicinae oder Physica (1151–1158), „Naturkunde“ in nine books

Liber compositae medicinae oder Causae et curae (1151–1158), „Heilkunde“ in six books

What does Saint Hildegard write about the cookies in her books:

Diese Plätzchen vertreiben alle Bitternis deines Herzens und geben deiner Gesinnung Ruhe und öffnen dein Herz und deine fünf Sinne und machen deine Stimmung heiter und reinigen deine Sinnesorgane und mindern in dir alle Schadsäfte (noxi, mali, infirmi humores) und liefern deinem Blut eine gute Säftezusammensetzung, machen dich leistungsfähig, stark und froh. Hildegard von Bingen

Translation: These cookies drive away all the bitterness of your heart and calm your spirit and open your heart and your five senses, make you cheerful and cleanse your sense organs and reduce all harmful juices (noxi, mali, infirmi humores) in you and provide your blood with a good juice composition, make you efficient, strong and happy. Hildegard von Bingen

Health Benefits of the Spices


Nutmeg: The effect of the cookies is mainly based on the active nutmeg, which in abundance is known to be nerve-strengthening. Saint Hildegard uses nutmeg when it comes to increasing concentration, but also when blood purification is necessary.
Despite the positive properties of nutmeg, caution is advised here, because nutmeg is toxic in large quantities. Excessive consumption of nutmeg can lead to poisoning and even miscarriage if pregnant! That’s why you should not eat more than 3 to 5 cookies a day.


Cinnamon is an ancient remedy used in both Chinese medicine and ancient Egypt. Hildegard von Bingen knew about the healing power of cinnamon bark. Cinnamon is therefore an integral part of many traditional recipes. Today it is known that cinnamon regulates blood sugar, balances metabolism and reduces cravings for sweets. I in the Winter make a cinnamon tea almost daily. It has a permanent place in my seasonal kitchen. Today we know that Ceylon Cinnamon has more health benefits.


Cloves have a stimulating and energizing effect. The cookies are called sometimes “Energy Cookies” because of this property. I believe the cookies are more nerve-strengthening than stimulating.

In times that demand a lot from me, I need something that strengthens me. Then I can handle the stress much better. A retreat is the ideal. But it doesn’t always work. In such situations I like to be in the kitchen and bake Hildegard’s Nerve cookies.

The recipe includes a good portion of almonds. These contain a lot of vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper and vegetable protein. Magnesium and protein in particular strengthen the nerves.

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