Curious cures for medieval maladies

History Extra podcast

16-01-2023 • 48 mins

If you feel unwell today you can pick up a prescription or head to a medical centre, but how did ill people treat their ailments in the Middle Ages? A major new project at Cambridge University Library aims to find out, by digitising, cataloguing and conserving over 180 medieval manuscripts, containing well over 8,000 medical recipes. Dr James Freeman speaks to Emily Briffett about what these weird and wonderful recipes – using ingredients like puppy stomachs and eel grease – can tell us. Hosted on Acast. See for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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