Dragon’s Blood & Willow Bark: The Mysteries of Medieval Medicine
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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
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