Martha's Marvelous Journal
November 30, 1791
1799 On this day, Martha Ballard recorded her work as an herbalist and midwife.
For 27 years, Martha kept a journal of her work as the town healer and midwife for Hallowell, Maine. In all, Martha assisted with 816 births.
Today, Martha’s marvelous journal gives us a glimpse into the plants she regularly used and how she applied them medicinally. As for how Martha sourced her plants, she raised them in her garden or foraged them in the wild. As the village apothecary, Martha found her own ingredients and personally made all of her herbal remedies.
And so it was that 229 years ago today, Martha recorded her work to help her sick daughter. She wrote:
"My daughter Hannah is very unwell this evening. I gave her some Chamomile & Camphor.”
Today we know that Chamomile has a calming effect, and Camphor can help treat skin conditions, improve respiratory function, and relieve pain.