Medival Medicine

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 10th gradeA, December 1996

download word file, 3 pages 4.2 1 reviews

Downloaded 127 times

It is said that 'An apple a day keeps the dentist away.' This has become a common saying

among Society today. We do not stop to think of how it reflects our outlook of Medicine

in our lives. We have come to understand the value of simple practices in order to keep

ourselves healthy. This is not, however, the case of Medieval England. Most 'medical

practices' of the time were based upon superstition, ancient texts, myth, or the direction

of the church. Medical practices of Medieval England often based upon nothing more

than superstition proved unbeneficial if not harmful to the people of England.

Part of the obvious problem was the fact that the common person had little care or

sense for improving their own health. The life and livelihood of an average person was

less than desirable even from the time of birth.

In the villages chronic inbreeding must have produced many children who star-

ted life with a built in weakness, either mental or physical.

Many would die in

childhood, but others who grew into manhood, might drag out a useless exist-

ance, dependent on charity for their sustenance. In general, infant mortality

was extremely heavy....Once the child was free to crawl about among the

unsanitary rushes, with a child's natural instinct to put everything into its

mouth, it is a wonder that any survived. Fromt then on disease and acci-

dent would provide ample scope for a medical service, which was virtually

non-existent. (Tomkeieff 119).

Furthermore, the collective knowledge (what little there was) was held and practiced by

Monks in Monasteries.

In summary of medical practice to the end of 1400, it may be said medicine

was practiced mostly by the clerics in monasteries and the laity whose locus

of operation was the apothecary shop. The physician...