Very little has been written about the lives of ordinary village people in the Middle Ages, and what happened when they were ill, or had an accident. It is my belief that there were families where plant knowledge was passed down - the child learning from an older family member how to make up an ointment, a tea, or a wound wash to treat neighbours as well as their animals.
To people of this time much of what we regard as weeds were looked on as food e.g. nettles, dandelions, cleavers, St. Johns wort, burdock, comfrey, hawthorn berries, elderberries, and many others were a vital source of nutrition for people that seldom had enough to eat especially if the harvest was a poor one.
An ointment was made simply enough or a wound wash and many plants could be harvested and dried for use in winter in a tea form or added to the pottage.
The Herbalist can demonstrate some of the remedies of the time, as well as discussing the hazards and precariousness of life in the Middle Ages.Back to Trades