Nursery Rhymes

Medieval Medicine

Medieval life and Times

Medieval Medicine
Medieval Medicine was extremely basic in terms of the disposal of waste products and garbage. However, personal hygiene was better than the perception of the Medieval times. People did wash, bath and clean their teeth. The terrible outbreak of the Black Death made Medieval people look for a link between health and hygiene.

The words of men who lived during the Medieval times provide a fascinating and informative first-hand view of different aspects of Medieval Medicine during the period. Associated articles may be accessed by clicking one of the following links:

Medieval Doctors
Medieval Health
Medieval Hygiene

Medieval Medicine
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 dried toad.

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 battle wounds.

Medieval Life and Times Home
Medieval Life

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

2017 Siteseen Ltd