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Boils, Plague Sores and Embossed Carbunkles

Remedies at Home

Remedies at Home


About the Item

For hundreds of years professional medical treatment by a physician was too expensive for most ordinary people. If you were very poor you might be able to seek medical help at a charitable hospital, often provided by religious organisations. For most people, their first port of call would have been home remedies.

A good ‘housewife’ was expected to know how to make up remedies for common illnesses and ailments. She could access all the ingredients she needed at her local apothecary or even grow some medicinal herbs in her garden.

This book, written by King James’ physician Gideon Harvey, gives instructions for preparing medicines at home and how much the ingredients should cost.

Gideon Harvey claims that if you follow the instructions in his book, the medicines will not only be safer, but you will ‘save nineteen shillings in twenty, comparing it with the extravagant rates of many apothecaries’.


Find out more

Click here to find out more about herbal remedies in Shakespeare's time.