drugs, menstruation, remedies, virginity

Hair loss, ancient remedies and the power of colour

In case you ever wonder what my personal favourite blogs are: well, one is The Recipes Project, a group blog which grew out of the Medicinal Receipts Research Group. I like it because of the mix of different time periods and different types of evidence which it covers.

I’ve sent in a few posts over the years, covering my interests in ancient medicine (Roman remedy books?) and Renaisssance/early modern medicine (Green sickness, red plants?). In addition, and in line with the blog’s wide time frame, I also shared something from my family history: My great-grandmother’s hair loss remedy.

This one was particularly good fun to research, as I hadn’t previously noticed that the prescription had a date on it (which makes it possible to link it to who-lived-where in the census records) nor had I looked into how prescriptions worked in the late nineteenth century. I don’t think I’ve ever before been able to link my hobby of family history to my professional work in the history of medicine. It’s great when things come together! And there are still so many questions in my mind – including ‘Why has a section been cut off the prescription?’

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