Miach is the father of healing herbs and the patron of herbalism. He is the son of Dian Cecht and is Airmid’s brother. When Nuada, Ruler of the Tuatha Dé Danaan, lost his hand in battle, he also lost his throne. Only someone with no physical imperfections was allowed to rule. Dian Cecht, Sacred Physician, fitted him with a silver prosthetic hand, but the throne was given to Bres, who proved to be an inadequate ruler. Dian Cecht’s children, Airmid and Miach, determined to heal Nuada so he could reclaim his throne.

They located Nuada’s severed hand, which had been buried, removed the silver prosthetic, and placed the original hand on the stump, chanting an incantation:

Sinew to sinew;

nerve to nerve;

joint to joint

In three times three days and nights, Nuada was good as new and fit to reign again. Dian Cecht was unhappy: his children had publicly shown themselves to be greater healers than he. His anger was specifically directed at his son. He challenged him by slicing into Miach’s head with a sword and challenging him to heal. Miach did. Dian Cecht repeated the action, this time slicing deeper. Again, Miach self-regenerated. Three times, Dian Cecht repeated the action; each time Miach was able to heal himself. Finally, Dian Cecht cut open his head and removed the brain, and Miach was dead. After he was buried, 365 healing plants sprang from his grave, one for each day of the year, one for every illness.




Tuatha Dé Danaan


  • Airmid
  • Dian Cecht
  • Nuada
  • Tuatha Dé Danaan


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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