Modern Boston is renowned for the strength of its healthcare industry, from hospitals to medical research to pharmaceutical companies. Back in the 17th century, though, the major force in Boston healthcare was within the home: housewives were called upon to be the healers in a place where doctors were rare.
Housewives had a wealth of recipes available to them for ailments ranging from gout and headaches to severe wounds, and for conditions as rare as kidney stones. Most of the recipes were botanical in nature, but many involved chemical ingredients, magic, exotic ingredients, and astrological conditions.
This talk by Lori Lyn Price, an expert in botanical domestic medicine, will cover the role of the housewife in caring for her family, how she conceptualised and understood illness in line with 17th-century practice, the common illnesses she encountered, and the recipes and treatments she used.
The event includes a reception with refreshments, and a short visit to explore the St. Francis Garden just outside the church.
About the speaker
Lori Lyn Price, MAS, MLA, is a historian and a genealogist. She recently completed a master’s degree in history, focusing on domestic medicine in 17th-century England. She is a senior biostatistician at Tufts Medical Center and the owner of Bridging The Past (BridgingThePast.com).