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The Tudor Society

Tudor Medicine Video

In this week Claire Chats video, Claire talks about Tudor medicine, the four humours and some of the rather weird and wonderful treatments Tudor people were advised to use.

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There are 6 comments Go To Comment

  1. K /

    Loved this segment Claire. So fascinating how treatments seem so strange to us now. Over the weekend with friends, I was talking with a cancer survivor who mused that perhaps years from now people will look back on our use of radiation and chemotherapy and be perplexed…. much like we are today about using some of the things you spoke of in this chat.

    I for one am always interested in how things we take for granted now were handled before — what struggles and challenges they endured. Don’t you think they would have loved an epidural instead of a taste of another’s breast milk!

    1. < / Post Author

      That’s so true! I can just imagine their horror at us poisoning people with chemo and giving them radiation treatment to try and make them better. The cures I talked about obviously made sense back then, just as our treatments today do. Oh to go into the future and hear them discussing us!

  2. D /

    I can remember 1 of the treatments you have mentioned where still being used when I was a child, the mustard plaster, used for chesty coughs and drawing boils to a head so they burst. My gran used them.
    Here’s one for you…a cure for diarrhoea in babies, which is highly dangerous because of dehydration etc..give the baby a good dose of castor oil, this will clear out whatever has caused it, after it has acted castor oil has a constipating effect so the diarrhoea is stopped!! This was really dangerous advise. This was put into a woman’s magazine 1916, not 1516, so you so can see that in the grand scheme of things medical knowledge was still very basic and guess work till not that long ago. I suppose you could possibly see the logic behind the thinking in this case, but the lack of science is very obvious. And that I suppose is the BIG difference between those times and now, the logic is put to the scientific test first before using any treatment. It was scary stuff, we have so much to be grateful for haven’t we.

  3. C /

    Just Love it, Claire ! I´m amazed with the variety of wonderful information you provide us. Pleasure to be a member of Tudor Society. Thanks and best regards from Rio de Janeiro.

    1. < / Post Author

      Thank you, Cristina, that’s so good to hear! Greetings to you from Spain!

  4. L /

    According to the fictional character, Tom Sawyer, written by Mark Twain, a wart can be cured by spunk water from a rotten tree stump, which must be obtained at midnight while reciting the incantation: “Barley corn, barley corn, injun-meal shorts, spunk water, spunk water, swaller these warts.”

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Tudor Medicine Video