Treatments and Medicines in the Elizabethan Era

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Treatments and Medicines in the Elizabethan Era



Medicines and Treatments

in the Elizebethan Era


Most medicines were made of spices, herbs and plants. Commonly used plants were lavendar, basil, mint, yarrow and more.

People believed in opposites and similarities. For example if you felt hot or had a fever, you were given a medicine made from lettuce, a cool plant. When you had a toothache, they would treat you with ivory because it looked similar.

During the Middle Ages and Elizebethan Era peoples reasoning were based on various things. Some looked towards the church. Some believed that Saturn, Jupiter and Mars were to close together, therefor bad things were happening.

Similar to today, during the Middle Ages there were people whos job was treating others in the medical field, which forming a pyramid with the physcians at the pinnacle. Physcians were able to debate, lecture and recite their study. Following were the "surgeons" who actually were barbers and butchers. Below were the monks whos job was to copy down the work of physcians. Finally folk healers, or herbalists were at the bottom of the pyramid. Herbalists were mainly woman who created chants and charms to heal the sick.

In the Middle Ages, surgeries and operations were performed by barbers and butchers. They would use alcohol and herbs as anaesthetics. Operations included face ulcers, eye cataracts, amputations and removing bladder stones. Also some would have a whole drilled into the back of their head to release the evil spirits. Most would die shortly after this surgery. Fun Fact: The traditional red and white pole outside of a barber’s shop today is a throwback to the days in Medieval England when barbers did operations. The red stood for blood and the white for the bandages used at the end of an operation.



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Some believed in the Four Humors. The Four Humors was a theory from the Greeks and Romans that if these were balanced you were healthy. The humors balance depended on your diet and excersise. Some believed that your body was balanced by four parts. Yellow bile, Black bile, blood and phlegm. The theory was to keep these balanced for good health. Blood-letting, by leeches was common to keep the "blood" part of the humors balanced.

Four Humors


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