Home » Elizabethan England Medicines

Elizabethan England Medicines

Elizabethan era failed to give a high standard of health; people are plague by various diseases and ailments. There was a food shortage that further contributed to the difficulty of their life.

Also, the lack for sanitation increases the risk of endangering people’s life. A quick view on the street will give filthy scenes of garbage, notwithstanding the fact that animals were permitted to defecate anywhere.

Diseases During Elizabethan Era


People living in Tople land were used to eat cows and pigs which on the other hand are notorious for eating trash. The rivers were contaminated by domestic squander. In view of this, epidemic diseases were on their rise. Diseases like bubonic plague would kill almost one third of the total population!

Elizabethan England Medicine

Elizabethan Illnesses

Advanced remedies for these illnesses were not available, of course, thus Elizabethan England medicine include potions obtained from the concoction of plants and herbs. People favor home remedies since it is highly inexpensive compare to the charge a physician and a doctor would normally bill.

Physicians would normally roam around the place with a terrible mask on their faces. However, this odd looking gear most probably saved their life from being contaminated too with the disease.

Elizabethan England Medicine

The Elizabethan England medicines were simple; leaches and cupping were used to get blood. For bubonic plague, it is treated by means of lancing the buboes and applying a tepid poultice of onion, butter, and garlic.

Moreover; tobacco, lily root, arsenic, and dried toad were as well used. For people suffering from stomach pain, it was treated by mint, wormwood and balm while rose, sage, bay and lavender were used for headaches. Vinegar was famous for treating wounds because of the belief that it has an antiseptic property.

Elizabethan England Medicine

The Medicine of the Elizabethan Era

The weakness of Elizabethan England medicine paved the way for the citizenry to have a shorter life than the usual. For the adult male, the lifespan is only up to 47 years old. The life expectancy is 35 years old for the rich and 25 years for the lower statuesque. Death among infants and children were indeed rampant, 40% of people died once they reached their teenage years.

This lifespan can be blamed also to poor sanitation and epidemic diseases that deluge the place. Homemade remedies proved to be an ineffective antidote. Children were left homeless by their mother particularly during the 16th century which only added fuel to the fire.

Elizabethan England Medicine Facts

In summary, Elizabethan England medicine theory is an intertwining of numerous ideas which was far related to the belief of modern time. It should be put into minds that these ideas were fabricated even before the detection of the blood circulation, and the discovery of viruses and bacteria.

Elizabethan England Medicine

The most renowned idea in terms of medicine during the Elizabethan era was that of Galen who connoted that each living things were created with four elements or Humor which comprised the Phlegm, Blood, black bile, and yellow bile. They contain varying natures; the phlegm is cold and wet, blood is hot and wet, yellow bile is hot and dry, and black bile is cold and dry.

More Info On- Daily life During Elizabethan Era, Death of queen Elizabeth I, Food

Found info useful?