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Medieval Medicine Essay

626 words - 3 pages

Today when you get a disease you go to the doctor. You get checked out and they might give you some antibiotics. You get better and carry on with your life as if nothing happened. But if you lived in Medieval Europe a head cold is a death sentence. Disease was a religious matter and knowledge of bacteria was non-existent. They believed that if you didn’t sin and you were dedicated to God you wouldn’t have to suffer from sickness. Often a cold would go away, until a secondary infection would kick in. Pneumonia was an infection that was often fatal. They had one major problem in their life style that intensified all infections and one fix. Herbs helped people become healthy while poor hygiene continued to spread sickness everyday.
In Medieval times there were herb gardens in the monastery. These were called infirmary gardens. Because the church was the main function and a huge ...view middle of the document...

However, because of their awful hygiene many people died when they got sick. One common occurrence was their waste disposal. People went in pots or vases. Once they became full they were dumped into the streets. The waste was washed down into the sewer and the stormwater that they used for drinking. At the time they didn't understand the concept of microbe and bacteria. Another occurrence that spread disease was the belief that bathing made you sick. However, they did the exact opposite. By avoiding bathing they harbored bacteria spread through their food, clothing and contact with one another. They Bubonic Plague is a crucial example. The disease was spread when diseased rats were bitten by fleas. The fleas would then bite humans. Today it is a rare occurrence to have fleas. Many people, myself included, shower daily and wash their hair. The shampoo and washing would immediately limit the opportunities of fleas. If the people had practiced healthy habits the death rate would have gone way down. In these cases of disease riddled people the herbs were no use. The only cure was soap. But by the time they came down ill. The were just too late.
By todays standard herbs are cooking items and hygiene is almost necessary for humans. Many aspects of our life would have been so beyond novel by Medieval standards. Unfortunately, the people of the Middle ages were ignorant. With the church’s role in life and their teachings many got sick and died. The had two types of medicine, a preventer, and a subtle solution. Soap and hygiene and herbs. The two most powerful fixes for illness were soap and herbs.

1.) "Medicinal and Magical Herbs of Medieval Europe." Medicinal and Magical Herbs of Medieval Europe. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2013. .

2.)"Medicine in Medieval and Early Modern Europe." Schools History. N.p., 10 Aug. 2002. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. .

3.) Strom, Laura Layton. Dr. Medieval: Medicine in the Middle Ages. New York: Children's, 2008. Print.
4.) "A History Of Medicine." Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 29 Nov. 0031. Web. 03 May 2013.

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