Sophia Emma Magdalene Grieve (neé Law) (also known as Margaret, Maude, Maud or simply Mrs. Grieve)(1858-1941)was the Principal and Founder of The Whins Medicinal and Commercial Herb School and Farm at Chalfont St. Peter in Buckinghamshire, England. The training school gave tuition and practical courses in all branches of herb growing, collecting, drying and marketing. Grieve had also been President of the British Guild of Herb Growers, and Fellow of the British Science Guild. Maud Grieve was a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society with an encyclopedic knowledge of medicinal plants. The training school gave tuition and practical courses in all branches of herb growing, collecting, drying and marketing.
Mrs. Grieve had an extensive herbal garden in Chalfont St. Peter, and during World War 1 she trained people in the harvesting, drying and preparation of medicinal herbs, to help remedy the shortage of medicinal supplies. In this effort she started publishing informative pamphlets.
Mrs. Grieve was President of the British Guild of Herb Growers, and Fellow of the British Science Guild. To meet a large demand for information on herbal medicines during the First World War, Mrs Grieve started publishing pamphlets on the cultivation of herbs and uses of herbal medicines. These pamphlets were highly regarded by her peers and were eventually published.
Mrs. Grieve's work 'A Modern Herbal' was published in 1931. The book contains medicinal, culinary, cosmetic and economic properties, cultivation and folklore of herbs from all over the world. The book is still in print and is available online here: A Modern Herbal
A Modern Herbal was conceived by its editor Mrs. Hilda Leyel and based on monographs of English herbs written by Mrs. Grieve. Mrs. Leyel added American herbs to Mrs. Grieve's monographs and checked and edited the whole work. Hilda Leyel was the founder of the Society of Herbalists and for many years its Director. She was instrumental in the re-establishment of herbal medicine in Britain in the 1900s. She was also a practicing herbalist herself.
Mrs. Grieve was principal in the introduction and wide use of Arnica as this passage from her 'A Modern Herbal shows: The tincture of Arnica is used for external application to sprains, bruises, and wounds, and as a paint for chilblains when the skin is unbroken. Repeated applications may produce severe inflammation. For tender feet a foot-bath of hot water containing 2 oz. of the tincture arnica has brought great relief.
She also wrote Culinary herbs and condiments and Roses and pot pourri: Plants of sweet scent and their employment in perfumery. Her collections and pamphlets are held by the Special Collections Division of the Edinburgh University.
Although not strictly involved in Aromatherapy, like NICHOLAS CULPEPER two centuries before, her work with Herbal lore has given us a wealth of information on plants and their healing properties.