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Medicine and Illness

When a child got sick, their mother would make use home remedies. Their bed would be moved close to fire for warmth.

Herbs were thought to cure almost anything.   They even used herbs to help a broken arm to mend faster.  Every family had they own herb garden and made their own medicines. They were bitter, so they were mixed with honey. A tea made of ground roasted toads was supposed to be good for you.

Some of the ingredients that were used in colonial remedies include chalk for heartburn, calamine for skin rashes, and cinchona bark for fevers. Cinchona bark contains quinine for malaria and quinidine for heart conditions.

Medical treatment was expensive and individuals frequently treated themselves. There were cures that were learned through tradition, folklore, or medical books.

Vinegar of roses might be used to treat headaches. That is a home remedy made of rose petals boiled in vinegar and applied to the skin.

Williamsburg apothecaries (like drug stores) also sold cooking spices, candles, vinegar toothbrushes, salad oil, and tobacco.

When baby got his or her first tooth  the mom would tie berries around baby neck.  There were very few doctors. If you are very sick, neighbor might be sent to get nearest doctor.

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