How did 17th-century families in England perceive their health care needs? What household resources were available for medical self-help? To what extent did households make up remedies based on medicinal recipes? Drawing on previously unpublished household papers ranging from recipes to accounts and letters, this original account shows how health and illness were managed on a day-to-day basis in a variety of 17th-century households. It reveals the extent of self-help used by families, explores their favourite remedies and analyses differences in approaches to medical matters. Anne Stobart illuminates cultures of health care amongst women and men, showing how 'kitchin physick' related to the business of medicine, which became increasingly commercial and professional in the 18th century.
Anne Stobart is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK and former Director of Programmes in Complementary Health Sciences and Programme Leader of the BSc in Herbal Medicine at Middlesex University, UK. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the Journal of Herbal Medicine and chairs the Herbal History Research Network. Anne writes for the Recipes Hypotheses blog which brings together an international group of scholars writing on the history of recipes. She is a founder of the Holt Wood project on sustainable cultivation and harvest of medicinal trees and shrubs.