Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Was there a cure for the Black Death?

          The disease last appeared in 1665 as The Great Plague. Symptoms changed over time as the microbes evolved and resistance in human beings increased. About a third of Europe’s population died (200 million people) when plague first struck in about 1347. Victims had no idea what the disease was or what had caused it. Most doctors in Medieval times did not know hardly anything about plague or how to cure it. The population decreased quickly. The mortality rate was about 30-40%. Who knew that this disease could of caused so much damage to the ancient Medieval society? The spread of the deadly plague in England was swift and the death rate was almost 50% in isolated populations such as monasteries. Some of you may wonder why this disease is called the black death. The reason is that it caused blackening of the skin around swellings. When a victim's blood was let the blood that exuded was black, thick and vile smelling with a greenish scum mixed in it.  Nearly 7500 victims were dying each day from the disease.
            Although there was not necessarily a cure for the disease there was a cure for the symptoms. Headaches were relieved by rose, lavender, sage and bay. Sickness or nausea was treated with wormwood, mint, and balm. Lung problems were treated with liquorice and comfrey. Vinegar was used as a cleansing agent as it was believed that it would kill disease. But bloodletting was commonly thought to be one of the best ways to treat the plague. Black Death was treated by lancing the painful swellings and applying a warm poultice of butter, onion and garlic. Various other remedies were tried including arsenic, lily root and even dried toad. Wouldn't it be strange if the next time you had a headahe you went to the doctors and they gave you lavender to eat?  During later outbreaks of plague people experimented with using tobacco to help cure the disease.

6 comments:

  1. this really helped with my school reasearch on the bubonic plague

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  3. This was good use. thank chu ^_^ *gives cookie*

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  4. all of this literally came off the website before it. this is pretty much a copy and paste job with a few added words. also, the information was not of much help because, well, it all came from another website i had previously visited.

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