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The Mandrake Plant and Six Anglo-Saxon Cures

Plants were a vital source of potential cures in the Middle Ages, and the mandrake was considered to be one of the most powerful of these. However, you needed a hungry dog to help you catch one!

BOOK REVIEW: A Year in the Life of Medieval England by Toni Mount

Author Toni Mount is back again, but this time with an in-depth look at daily life in Medieval England. Her book, A Year in the Life of Medieval England, explores war, medicine, marriage, disputes, work, and cooking. A fascinating almanac of bits and bobs about Medieval England from the most most mundane, to the most important events in its history.

Heavenly Healing or Failure of Faith? Partial Cures in Later Medieval Canonization Processes

When thinking of miracles as source material for the conceptions and everyday life of the laity, miracles with remaining symptoms provide an interesting sub-type of a healing miracle.

Medieval Advice for Students Away From Home

By Danièle Cybulskie Over the last few weeks, countless parents have kissed their sons and daughters and sent them off to study away from home, loading them up with advice and admonitions to take good care of themselves. Hundreds of years ago, medieval parents were loading up their own children with love and advice, too. […]

Medical Practice, Urban Politics and Patronage: The London ‘Commonalty’ of Physicians and Surgeons of the 1420s

Medical practice in fifteenth-century England is often seen as suffering from the low status and unregulated practice of which Thomas Linacre later complained.

Did Henry VIII Suffer from Head Trauma?

By Danièle Cybulskie It’s a question that pretty much anyone looking at the arc of his life ends up asking: what happened to Henry VIII? From a hugely-admired prince, to a widely-feared king, the transformation in Henry’s behaviour and outlook would seem like the stuff of fiction, but for the fact that history bears out […]

‘Do You Not Know I am a Healer?’ Royal Authority and Miracles of Healing in High Medieval Lives of Kings

Today I’d like to place in comparative perspective the reputations for miraculous healing achieved by two high medieval royal saints: Edward the Confessor of England and Óláfr Haraldsson of Norway.

Monastic medicine: medieval herbalism meets modern science

A group of German researchers is bringing to light the medicinal wisdom of the Middle Ages.

The Herbal Cures of Hildegard von Bingen – was she right?

There is a 1 in 10,000,000 chance that Hildegard von Bingen was just making up her list of medical cures based on herbs and plants.

The Ideal Medieval Hospital: St. John of Jerusalem

Let’s take five minutes to look at what may be the most famous hospital of the Middle Ages: The Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem

The Healing Power of a Garden – A Medieval View

When it came to healthy living, medieval people were careful on what they ate. It was commonly believed that foods could offer good (and not-so-good) consequences to the body, but it was hard to remember what ailments a certain food could cure. In steps Henry of Huntingdon to offer us a poetic guide to the healthy and medicinal qualities of what you can find in a garden.

Infertility in the Middle Ages

For medieval people, success meant succession. Heredity was at the centre of law and order, from the king down through the ranks of society. As a result, the moment children reached marriageable age – and sometimes even before that – everyone’s focus was on their fertility.

Uterine cancer in the writings of Byzantine physicians

Byzantine physicians recognized uterine cancer as a distinct disease and tried to suggest a therapeutic approach. The work of Oribasius, Aetius of Amida, Paul of Aegina, Cleopatra Metrodora and Theophanes Nonnus reflects the Hippocratic-Galenic scientific ideas as well as their own concept on this malignancy. According to their writings uterine cancer was considered an incurable disease and its treatment was based mainly on palliative herbal drugs.

Chastity belts and birthing girdles

Chastity belts have been the subject of schoolroom and music hall humour for as long as most of us can remember. But did they really exist and for the purpose suggested?

The Vikings, their worms, and the diseases they got

The Vikings and people of the Norse world would have been predisposed to emphysema and other lung conditions, according to a paper published last week in Nature: Scientific Reports.

23 Medieval Uses for Rosemary

In the Middle Ages, Rosemary was considered a wonder plant, which could be used to treat many illnesses and keep you healthy. One 14th century writer found 23 uses for it, including keeping your hair beautiful and preventing nightmares!

What type of tremor did the medieval ‘Tremulous Hand of Worcester’ have?

Scholars have recognized for some time that a prolific 13th century scribe had a tremor. He has become known as ‘the Tremulous Hand of Worcester’, or simply ‘the Tremulous Hand’, ‘hand’ being a metonym for ‘scribe’.

The influence of Christianity on medicine from Graeco-Roman times up to the Renaissance

When Christianity became the state religion in the 4th century, the Church Fathers became increasingly authoritarian regarding the practice of medicine which was to be based on their interpretation of Galen.

Medieval Hangover Cures

Here are a few hangover cures from days gone by, because people who partied like it was 1399 also needed a little help the morning after.

5 Things to Pack in Your Medieval First Aid Kit

Here are five things that would have been a handy part of a medieval ‘first aid kit’ and that (incidentally) science is slowly proving can still be counted on to work in a pinch.

The Sick and The Dead: Medieval Concepts of Illness and Spinal Disability

There is an often erroneous idea that past societies were a) very sick, and b) didn’t care about the sick. This as I want to show is not the case. I will show examples of illness, but I also want to show that ideas of what is sick and what needs healing are not the same as our own.

Medical Lore in the Bestiaries

Some time in the first part of the Christian era, perhaps as early as the second century, there emerged a curious collection of zoological fables and religious moralizations called Physiologus.

Top 10 Medical Advances from the Middle Ages

Medieval medicine has often been portrayed as a time when physicians were ignorant and health care remained the stuff of superstitions and quackery. However, a closer look reveals that were many ways in which medical knowledge and care improved during the Middle Ages. Here are our top ten medical advances

The medical licensing examination and the world of the physician officers in Korea’s Joseon Dynasty

This article aims to describe the world of physician officers during the Joseon Dynasty.

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