In the 1347 - 1350 outbreak, doctors were completely unable to prevent or cure the plague. For those who believed in the Greek humours there were a range of cures available. ‘Blood-letting’ – deliberately bleeding a vein – was a way of reducing ‘hot’ blood, whilst blowing your nose or clearing your throat was a way of getting rid of too much ‘cold’ phlegm. Mustard, mint sauce, apple sauce and horseradish were used to balance wet, dry, hot and cold in your diet!
A source from 1380 presents a cynical view of their work:
"Doctors need three qualifications: to be able to lie and not get caught; to pretend to be honest; and to cause death without guilt.”Jean Froissart’s Chronicles
Some of the cures they tried included: