Medieval Medicine was extremely basic in an era when terrible illnesses
such as the Black Death were killing nearly one third of the population.
Medicine was limited. Physicians had no idea what caused the terrible
illnesses and diseases. The Catholic Church believed that illnesses were
a punishment from God for sinful behaviour. Letting blood was conducted
by cupping or leeches. There were no Antibiotics during the Medieval
times of the Middle Ages and it was almost impossible to cure illness
and diseases without them. Medicines in Medieval Times were made from
herbs, spices and resins. The medicine was applied in drinks, pills,
washes, baths, rubs, poultices, purges and ointments. The Medicine used
to treat some specific illnesses are described below.
Medieval Medicine to
treat the Black Death
The Black Death held a massive mortality rate of between 30 and 40%.
Victims had no idea what had caused the disease. And neither did the
doctors in Medieval Times. The Black Death was treated by lancing the
buboes and applying a warm poultice of butter, onion and garlic. Various
other remedies were tried including tobacco, arsenic, lily root and even
Medieval Medicine to treat Headache and Aching joints
Head Pains were treated with sweet-smelling herbs such as rose,
lavender, sage, and bay. A mixture of henbane and hemlock were applied
to aching joints. Coriander was used to reduce a fever.
Medieval Medicine to treat Stomach Pains and Sickness
Stomach pains and sickness were treated with wormwood, mint, and balm.
Medieval Medicine to treat Lung Problems
Lung problems were given the medical treatment of a medicine made of
liquorice and comfrey. Horehound cough syrups and drinks were prescribed
for chesty and head-colds and coughs.
Medieval Medicine to treat Wounds
Wounds were cleaned and vinegar was widely used as a cleansing agent as
it was believed that it would kill disease. Mint was also used in
treating venom and wounds. Myrrh was used as an antiseptic on wounds.
Yarrow, or Achillea was used to treat headaches and wounds, especially