Women XI century did care about their appearance. Of course they did! Cosmetics were not as terrible as those used in Tudor times, such as lead to whiten the complexion or belladonna to brighten the eyes. These previous treatments were generally less sinister and not so harmful. We know of cosmetics from The Trotula which was a compendium of women’s medicine in medieval Europe. The mysterious Trotula was said to be the first female professor of medicine in the eleventh century Salerno, south of Naples. Salerno was, in fact, the main training center of medicine in medieval Europe for many centuries.
In this wonderful book there is a section entitled ‘On Women’s Cosmetics. “Suggestions here range from treatments hair removal treatments for the face and hair ornament. Registered There are also treatments for whitening teeth and lip care.
Here are some of my favorite ideas that I consulted for my second novel in a trilogy about the women of Hastings, who is scheduled to follow the story of Edith gooseneck in The Handfasted Wife.
Take lime and orpiment (a sulphide mineral yellow). Put these in a small cloth bag and boil until they are cooked. If the depilatory be too thick, put fresh water in it to thin. Take care not overcooked and not left on the skin for too long. It causes intense heat. And note that the dried powder of this is good for abrasion bad meat and to make your hair grow back over the heads of people with tinea (ringworm infection). But before the place in question must be anointed with oil or honey. Then the powder is sprayed on.
A Cure for stains
Take cucumber juice and sprinkling of almond milk; with these places in a bowl, gently stir in lime and orpiment. Add galbanum powder (a fragrant resin gum Persian) mixed with a small amount of wine for a day and a night, and cook with it. Once it is well cooked it is necessary to remove the substance of galbanum and put in a little ‘oil. After making the decoction, you should remove from the heat and add a herbal powder, mastic, incense, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in equal amounts. This sweetly scented ointment and is gentle to soften the skin. A depilatory popular as well.
If you want to have hair soft and smooth and thin, wash it with warm water frequently when there is powder natron and vetch.
After leaving the bathroom, left to adorn the hair, and first of all let her wash with a cleanser like this:
Take the ashes of burnt wine, barley chaff of nodes, and liquorice root (so shine brighter), and sow-bread; boil the husks in water and cyclamen. With the chaff and cyclamen leaves at the base of a pot with two or three small openings to be filled. Let the water in which the cyclamen and the chaff were previously cooked be poured into the pot, so that it is stretched by small openings. With this cleanser leaves the woman washing her head. After washing, let alone allow it to dry, and her hair is golden and shiny.
If you really want to have thick hair blacks, take colcynth and, having thrown away the insides, let it be filled bay in which they were added seeds of henbane and a bit ‘of orpiment. And let the hair be anointed with it often.
First of all, let wash your face very well with French soap and lukewarm water with a force of bran and let it wash in the bath. Then take the oil of tartar, and after drying the face, left anoint it.
Oil of tartar is made as follows:
tartar break into small pieces
wrap in a piece of cloth and dip it in strong vinegar and make it soaking wet
put on the fire until it turns to carbon
put in a bowl and mix with the fingers of oil with
expose to the air for three nights
collect the oil in a jug
let the woman anoint herself with this oil for fifteen days of night
in the morning wash with warm water and fat residues of starch to soften
There is also a recipe for starch.
Finally, there was plenty of travel and trade in the Middle Ages and ingredients from more distant lands, but that is a post for another time. I think I will be happy to continue to use my modern-day natural products and are not so sure about one of them!