Medicine in Medieval Europe was based on natural remedies. Some remedies included herb plants, music, and astrology.
Many types of medicine that were available and used in Medieval Europe were herb plants. There were two main plants that were used to heal. The first was Southernwoods (Artemisia abrotanum), whose leaves were used to heal wounds and relieve fevers. When dried, this plant was valued for its fragrance. Another plant commonly used as a medicine was Wormwood (Artemisia absinthum). It was used to cure poisons, constipation, and worms. Wormwood was also used as a flea and insect repellant to deter insects. Natural medicines used to cure burns were butter and egg whites. and sulpher and vinegar were used for toothaches.
In Medieval times, music was not only used for enjoyment, but also doctors believed it helped cure patients. If a person was unhappy or depressed, music was thought to raise their morale. Doctors believed music helped heal a person's wounds since it calmed the mind. They also believed that music could cause ailments like indigestion. If a person listened to loud music before or during a meal they were likely to get indigestion. Doctors prescribed raging music to paralyzed patients.
The main remedies and causes for disease were the four humors. The four humors were elements that needed to be balanced in order to stay healthy. The four humors were earth, fire, air,and water. Earth was a dry element, fire was a hot element, air was a cold element, and water was a wet element. Body fluids like blood, phlegm, bile, and black bile also contributed to the balance. The four elements were known to cause disease because if you were unbalanced then you were considered sick. The four humors also could help with the cure because doctors would know which element was unbalanced. Using this knowledge they would help their patient become more balanced, for example, changing their diet and therefore becoming healthier.
Many factors that caused disease in Medieval Europe were based on a person's everyday lifestyle. One factor that led to disease was lack of hygeine. The people in Europe at the time, did not bathe on a regular basis. This led to very filthy people who had lice and fleas. A second factor based on a lack of hygenic care was the fact that waste was not properly disposed of. People would often dispose of their waste in the street which included human feces and old food. Streets would be covered with so much waste that when a person tried to walk their shoes would get stuck.
The lack of hygeine in Medieval Europe allowed for an easy spread of one of the greatest plagues. The Black Plague was a plague that traveled throughout the Mediterranean in 1348-1350. It took the lives of many and spared few.