During the middle ages a deadly disease called the Black Plague struck Europe wiping out one third of the population. Because of the speed of the disease people had to come up with cures and ways to treat it without any real scientific knowledge, and fast! People in the middle ages were extremely superstitious! When the black plague came about no one knew what to do so peasants and nobles alike tried all sorts of possible ‘cures’.
Other people looked to the church for cures. One priest was recorded to have placed dying animals into the patients’ room. The animals were supposed to attract the disease away from the victims. Another drew crosses in oil on the infected persons head. Neither of these ways cured anyone.
Many tried herbal concoctions to try cure this illness. This method was extremely popular. These potions contained leaves, thyme, rosemary, toads and oils, or whatever was at hand. These mixtures were either drunk or smeared onto the dying person’s ever-growing boils under their arms or on their groin. Like most of the attempts this did not work.
Sometimes people applied oils onto the body in a massaging way to soothe the headaches caused. This may have worked a bit to bring some relief to the victim, but not enough to cure the patient. Another method to try and cure the sick was to place dried toads on the red, pussy boils. If the toad swelled up the person was said to be cured because the toad had sucked out all the poison. Sometimes leeches were applied all over the body to suck out the sick blood. This was expensive and many people could not afford a doctor to come and apply the leeches. Doctors could charge as much as they wanted during the Black Plague. But, like the other attempted cures, toads leeches did not work.
Thousands of cats were burnt because people thought this would eradicate the source of the disease. This did not help treat or cure anyone.
Towards the end of the Black Plague a young scientist caught the plague...