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The apothecary prepared medication according to a carefully studied prescriptions that were passed down the generations. It was one of the few professions that was not organized into guilds. The production of medicaments was quite hard work and a great responsibility. The apothecary had to have studied at the University and would be schooled not only in Latin, but also in Greek, had to be able to carefully measure out precise dosages of medication and to ensure the ingredients were always available. If there was no apothecary in town, there would be the monastery infirmary. And if that was not available, people turned to the services of herb-women, lay herbalists, quack healers or medicasters, called charlatans. Their methods of healing were controversial, because in making lotions and potions they made use not only of herbs, but of spells, amulets and sometimes even very unusual raw materials such as ‘frog poison’ or ‘hanged man’s finger’.

Alchemical recipes

See also: Alchemy

See also