To begin then with one of the most principal virtues which doth belong to our English housewife; you shall understand that sith the preservation and care of the family touching their health and soundness of body consisteth most in her diligence, it is meet that she have a physical kind of knowledge; how to administer many wholesome receipts or medicines for the good of their healths, as well to prevent the first occasion of sickness as to take away the effects and evil of the same when it hath made seizure on the body…for the curing of those ordinary sicknesses which daily perturb the health of men and women.    (Markham, 1615)

For more information on women’s various roles in medieval medicine, select from the following:


Gynecology and Women’s Health (outside the scope of midwiferie and childbirth)

Housewife Manuals