Medieval Illnesses and Cures

Printer-friendly version

In the Medieval England, health and medicine were very important aspects of life. One of the causes of medieval illnesses is poor hygiene such as skin disease. Skin disease was most common around poor peasants and townspeople. Because of the rough wool clothing that they wore, many insects lived in the material and irritated the skin of the people. The illness was cured from covering the sore spots with the skin of a wolf.
Poor diets were also responsible for causing many illnesses including scurvy and diarrhea. Scurvy is caused by the lack of vitamin C and was cured from drinking/eating citrus. Diarrhea is caused by many things and a common cure was folk medicine which was made from the herbal remedies of plants, flowers, and tree bark.
Another common cause for medieval illnesses is infection. Infection can cause very serious diseases such as smallpox, leprosy, and black death. The medieval cause for smallpox was a variola virus and wrapping the victim in red cloth and draping red cloth around the bed where they lay was believed to be the cure. Leprosy is caused by a slow-growing bacteria called Mycobacterium and one cure for leprosy was drinking melted gold because it symbolized wealth. Some of the many cures for black death were being washed in vinegar, cutting a vein which leads to the heart (blood-letting), and a diet in which you don’t eat food which smells badly. Black death is caused by bacteria called Yersinia pestis which comes from rodent or flea bites.
There are many other medieval diseases which we still do not understand to this day. However, science has gone so far. Today, these cures probably sound ridiculous, but in medieval times, they were considered genius.

Average: 5 (1 vote)


JessicaVasilenko13's picture

Medieval Illnesses and Cures

I hope that after reading this article, you will understand more about how quickly science is moving.