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Seeds - Claire Fraser’s healing skills in Outlander are very much tied to her interest in botany and the healing power of plants. In some cases she could use the products of the garden to mix medicines that could ease pain and the symptoms of illness, but in other cases she might just plant her garden with food and proper nutrition in mind. For example, since Claire came from the 1940s, she knew that scurvy was caused by a Vitamin C deficiency, and this could be prevented with a diet including fruits and vegetables. By teaching her husband Jamie about this nutritional necessity, she helped him avoid a disease that afflicted many people in the 18th century. Image of an opend book titled "Culpeper's English Physician: and Complete Herbal. Caption:Nicolas Culpeper was a 17th-century botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer who published several books on the medicinal uses of plants in the 1650s. His works continued in popularity in the 18th century, prompting new authors to republish and expand on his work in volumes such as the 1789 compilation shown here. Image from Wellcome Library, London. Photo image of Grape seeds:Grape Seeds, Date: ca. 1850s, Site Name: Federal Reserve, Site Number: 18BC27/345 -  These grape seeds from Baltimore are possibly a mixture of wild and domesticated grapes. Fresh grapes were available during late summer and early fall, but could be made into preserves, sauces or vinegar for later use. While native varieties were often described as unpalatable, they could be used in cooking or jams.  Domesticated grapes include both wine and table grapes. The grape can be used a variety of ways. Certain species make good wines and others are better for eating and preserving. However,  like many other foods and herbs in the 18th century, grapes were also used medicinally.  Nicolas Culpeper wrote in 1653 that raisins were good for “coughs, consumptions and other disorders,” a poultice could be made of grape leaves and barley to sooth inflamed wounds, and a lotion could be made to relieve a sore mouth. Culpeper also suggested that those concerned with dental health could whiten their teeth by rubbing grape vine ashes on them daily.; Photo image of squash seeds:Squash Seeds, Date: ca. 1720-1750, Site Name: Oxon Hill Manor, Site Number: 18PR175/2351 - These squash seeds were discarded in a well along with other food remains and trash from around the Oxon Hill plantation. Stagnant water in the well created a low oxygen environment making it difficult for decay-causing micro-organisms to survive. This resulted in the preservation of all kinds of organic material, including these squash seeds. Given their size and shape, they closely resemble seeds from summer squash. However, colonists grew a variety of squash and there are many different species, so they could also represent a different type. Squash and pumpkin were important crops to Native Americans. When the colonists arrived, they quickly adopted the plant, sending seeds back to England and Europe for cultivation there. Winter squash and pumpkin could be grown in the summer, and once they reached maturity, be stored for many months until spring. Summer squash could be used throughout summer at various stages of maturity. Although squash and pumpkins were rarely used in medicine, they offered valuable nutrition. Pumpkins were used for brewing beer and could be grown in large enough quantities to feed both people and livestock.; Photo image of watermelon seeds:Watermelon Seeds, Date: ca. 1720-1750, Site Name: Oxon Hill Manor, Site Number: 18PR175/2351 - Originating in Africa and introduced  by early Spanish explorers, watermelon was quick to establish its presence in the North American colonies. Grown for its sweet, refreshing taste, it also provided nutritional and practical benefits. Watermelon is a source of many important vitamins and minerals. Although notions of nutrition in the 18th century were very different from what we know today, watermelon was still acknowledged as beneficial. Watermelon was used for urinary issues and as a diuretic. It was also seen to have cooling effects, and could be eaten to provide relief from the Chesapeake’s hot, humid summers. Even the seeds were put to good use. Crushed and eaten, they were used to treat intestinal worms. In addition to its medicinal properties, watermelon may have provided an alternative hydration source, which could be important in the days before water and sewer systems ensured clean drinking water. The fruit is composed of around 90% water. When pressed, the juice could be used for drinking, or the fruit itself could be eaten.