Skip to main content

Distributed for Bodleian Library Publishing

Revolting Remedies from the Middle Ages

For a zitty face: take urine eight days old and heat it over the fire; wash your face with it morning and night.

In late medieval England, ordinary people, apothecaries, and physicians gathered up practical medical tips for everyday use. While some were sensible herbal cures, many were weird and wildly inventive, prescribing elixirs and regimens for problems like how to make a woman love you and how to stop dogs from barking at you. The would-be doctors seemed oblivious to pain, and would recommend any animal, vegetable, or mineral, let alone bodily fluid, be ground up, smeared on, or inserted for medical benefit. Full of embarrassing ailments, painful procedures, icky ingredients, and bizarre beliefs, this book selects some of the most revolting and remarkable remedies from medieval manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. Written in the down-to-earth speech of the time, these remedies offer humorous insight into the strange ideas, ingenuity, and bravery of men and women in the Middle Ages, and a glimpse of the often gruesome history of medicine through time.

112 pages | 4 1/4 x 7 | © 2017


Bodleian Library Publishing image

View all books from Bodleian Library Publishing

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press