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  • Lack Of Knowledge About Why People Get Sick Often Made Hygiene Ineffective on Random Details About Hygiene of Medieval Peasants

    (#13) Lack Of Knowledge About Why People Get Sick Often Made Hygiene Ineffective

    Doctors in medieval times adopted the theory of humorism and made connections between organs of the body, seasons, elements, and tempers. This led them to believe sickness happened when the body was out of balance. They also thought parasites originated within people's bodies and caused the imbalance to occur. Doctors theorized that controlling one's diet, such as eating less fruit, could help prevent the body from producing lice.

    What they didn't realize, however, was that poor waste management and some people's failure to bathe often led parasites to be attracted to people. No matter how many times people washed their hands, the lack of understanding about the connection between filth, infestation, and sickness meant no one was safe from parasites and disease.

  • People Used Wine As An Antiseptic on Random Details About Hygiene of Medieval Peasants

    (#11) People Used Wine As An Antiseptic

    With no schooling and few chances to learn, peasants carried superstitions for decades. As the influence of the church spread, people turned to prayer in order to cure their ailments. Eventually, education spread across Europe and information about science and medicine helped doctors become more proficient.

    A few of the ideas medieval citizens discovered even led to modern medicine. They created hospitals, performed surgery, and experimented with different antiseptics. Surgeons discovered wine could be used to clean wounds, and learned they could close lacerations with cauterization. Despite these advances, doctors never realized the connection between infection and hygiene, and many people perished as a result.

  • Peasants Regularly Deloused One Another on Random Details About Hygiene of Medieval Peasants

    (#4) Peasants Regularly Deloused One Another

    For medieval people, especially peasants, dealing with fleas and lice was a fact of life. Parasites were such a problem that comb-makers began adding finer teeth so users could remove dirt and lice while combing their hair. People often used their fingers to do the same job and would get together to delouse one another. As strange as it sounds, delousing groups formed a social activity for peasants.

    Lice didn't limit themselves to hair, however, and clothing had to be deloused, as well. Women skilled at delousing clothing and hair were in such demand that members of the Third Crusade took them along on their journey.

  • Women Used Rags, Moss, Or Twigs As Menstruation Pads on Random Details About Hygiene of Medieval Peasants

    (#8) Women Used Rags, Moss, Or Twigs As Menstruation Pads

    Although not much is known about the topic, historians believed women resorted to using a variety of items to collect blood during their periods. Many women probably used pieces of rags they tore up. Other theories suggest some women wrapped strips of cloth around a small twig and used it as a tampon, or possibly collected absorbant moss and used it as a pad. It's also very likely some women did nothing and simply bled on their clothing.

    Religious authorities placed shame on menstruation, and many women felt they had to disguise it. They may have carried scented herbs or flowers with them to mask any smell. But considering medieval women didn't live long, and many peasant women lived hard lives involving heavy labor and little sustenance, it's entirely possible that women had fewer periods during their short lives than women do in modern times.

  • Peasants Used Twigs To Clean Their Teeth on Random Details About Hygiene of Medieval Peasants

    (#9) Peasants Used Twigs To Clean Their Teeth

    In the absence of toothbrushes, peasants used twigs to clean their teeth. They especially enjoyed using small branches from hazel trees. Some people also rubbed a piece of wool over their teeth and rinsed their mouth with water. Those who could afford it mixed things like salt and sage together to form a paste to freshen breath and whiten teeth.

    Because their diet included virtually no sugar due to their limited finances, peasants didn't suffer from many cavities. The stone-ground bread they ate, however, caused their teeth to wear down. If a peasant's dental hygiene wasn't enough and they developed a problem with a tooth, they would have to have it removed. Instead of a dentist, barbers performed most dental work; since there was no anesthesia available, patients resorted to getting drunk before having their teeth worked on.

  • Most Peasant Men Didn't Shave on Random Details About Hygiene of Medieval Peasants

    (#14) Most Peasant Men Didn't Shave

    Although peasants did wash their hair occasionally, shaving wasn't as easy. Mirrors at the time were either made of lead-backed glass or polished metal, but it was difficult to see a clear image.

    Mirrors were often small, so many men in medieval times went to a barber for their weekly shave. Many peasants couldn't afford to pay someone for a shave and some didn't own mirrors, so many decided not to shave at all.

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Many theories said that people in the Middle Ages did not like to take a bath, and even took pride in not taking a bath, the garbage and excrement were dumped casually, and the whole city was full of unpleasant smells. In fact, most wealthy families in the 

Middle Ages had the habit of washing their hands before meals, and the excrement of peasants was generally only used to increase the fertility of the land.

Europeans in the Middle Ages have begun to pay attention to personal hygiene habits, and some countries already have developed public water supply and cleaning systems. The random tool described 15 details about the hygiene of Medieval peasants.

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