Dragon's Blood & Willow Bark

Dragon's Blood & Willow Bark

The Mysteries of Medieval Medicine

Book - 2015
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"A time when butchers and executioners knew more about anatomy than university-trained physicians--the phrase 'Medieval Medicine' conjures up horrors for us with our modern ideas on hygiene, instant pain relief and effective treatments. Although no one could allay the dread of plague, the medical profession provided cosmetic procedures, women's sanitary products, dietary advice and horoscopes predicting the sex of unborn babies or the best day to begin a journey. Surgeons performed life-saving procedures, sometimes using anaesthetics, with post-operative antibiotic and antiseptic treatments to reduce the chances of infection. They knew a few tricks to lessen the scarring, too. Yet alongside such expertise, some still believed that unicorns, dragons and elephants supplied vital medical ingredients and the caladrius bird could diagnose recovery or death. This is the weird, wonderful and, occasionally, beneficial world of medieval medicine. In her new book, popular historian Toni Mount guides the reader through this labyrinth of strange ideas and such unlikely remedies as leeches, meadowsweet, roasted cat and red bed-curtains--some of which modern medicine is now coming to value--but without the nasty smells or any threat to personal wellbeing and safety."--Amazon website.
Publisher: Stroud, Gloucestershire : Amberley Publishing, 2015.
ISBN: 9781445643830
Branch Call Number: 610.902 MOUNT
Characteristics: 288 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly colour) ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Dragon's blood and willow bark


From Library Staff

Mount believes we owe medicine of the pre-Victorian era slightly more respect that it usually gets. Yes, there were leeches, but there was also an early form of urinalysis. Some of the herb-lore wasn't completely off the mark either. With an accessible style, Mount examines the important if, some... Read More »

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