Lungwort Is Good For Your Lungs

1485 words - 6 pages

Lungwort is Good for Your LungsDuring the reign of Henry VIII (1485-1509) in England, the royal confiscation of monastic land s and church properties put a huge crutch on the entire charitable system. Between 1536 and 1544, one would have to search far and wide for medical help, and there was absolutely no help for indigent people in the city of London. In 1569, royal hospitals were finally restored, including Christ's Hospital for Children, St. Mary's of Bethlem for mental cases, and general hospitals such as St. Bartholomew's and St. Thomas'. However, hospitals were not the only options for a sick individual. Queen Elizabeth I's reign (1558-1603) brought the restoration of general charity, and there were many types of professionals and individuals to turn to for seeking medicals attention. As a result of this broad spectrum of medical choices, a mixture of the theory of Humors, the Doctrine of Signatures, astrology, tradition, chemical science, and magic became the basis for popular medicine in Elizabethan England.One of the most socially acceptable and encouraged forms of charity was medical charity. It was believed that sick people obviously needed help to have a positive recovery. Another motive for giving medical help was to help the poor make a safe return from sickness back to work, and thus removing the need to further provide monetary help. The city of Norwich often paid large amounts for physicians to treat the poor. It was also often that the city would hire one poor person to nurse and keep another poor, sick person, to kill two birds with one stone. An interesting fact is that it was common for a small sum to be paid initially to a bonesetter, but the bulk of the fee would only be paid when the patient was able to walk again. Thus, it is apparent that the practitioner took full responsibility for the patient during the recovery period. The city of Norwich also paid for shelter during the recovery period for patient. Norwich is the prime example of the great involvement and motivation for treating the poor and the sick in Elizabethan England.When a merchant in Elizabethan London gets a fever, he first will ask the physician to diagnose him. Then, he will ask his wife if she knows of a certain herb that will lower his fever. If she has nothing in her stillroom, then she contacts an apothecary. The apothecary will then prepare the medicine prescribed by the physician. If finding little relief, the merchant will then go to the local "cunning" woman down the street, who will give him a charm sprinkled with bergamot oil, advise him to eat cool and dry foods, and maybe advise him to consider attaching a leach or two to his skin to relieve his blood Humor, This is an example of the common diagnosis and treatment of a patient.It is apparent that medicine was distributed by an array of different people. The doctor a patient could see depended on the patient's class and whether he or she had the money to pay the fee. These professional...

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