Over at Elizabeth Chadwick's Living the History, there is a nice little blog entry on The Trotula, a medieval medical text dealing with women's medical issues. Apparently the text is now in a book called, you guessed it, The Trotula. Some of the treatments(e.g. for fixing your hair), sound rather nice, others --- well, I wouldn't want to try them. But then, medieval physicians did the best they could with what they had. A lot of what they "had" was patient observation and some common sense, so some of their remedies were likely to have worked. Since not very many people could afford those treatments, there were more local and available people(often women)who made similar observations and had a lot of common sense. What is really interesting, although Chadwick doesn't mention this is, that The Trotula may have been compiled by a woman. Apparently in Sicily, where the book is thought to have been first compiled, women were allowed to learn and practice medicine. In any case, The Trotula sounds like it gives a good deal of insight into the medieval way of looking at things.