During the medieval and Renaissance eras there was a high level of continuity in terms of the experience of patients. Treatment was rudimentary and often dangerous and seeking professional help was expensive. All people, regardless of their place in the social order, were nursed at home.
The women in charge of households took primary responsibility for nursing and treatment of those within their households. Precise evidence regarding the medical work of women within households is limited, but as well as administering remedies there is some suggestion that they also oversaw minor surgery and bleedings. This is not surprising considering that consulting any professional came at a cost. Herbal knowledge would have been passed down by older women to young girls to prepare them for their lives as mistresses of their own households. This knowledge would have varied within the social hierarchy.
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