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Weird History

What Was Hygiene Like For Medieval Peasants?

Although cleanliness in the Middle Ages was primitive compared to what modern people enjoy, it doesn't mean medieval hygiene didn't exist. Despite living in an era long before indoor plumbing, shampoo, and nail salons, people used the best hygiene practices they could. Unfortunately, they didn't have a lot to work with. Peasants had it especially bad and weren't often able to afford luxuries like more than one set of clothing. For the lower classes, personal hygiene in the Middle Ages meant keeping clean however you could, even if it wasn't easy.

Overall, hygiene in Medieval Europe was an upward battle. The abundance of waste and inefficient methods of dealing with it resulted in disease. Such waste added to an abundance of vermin, fleas, and lice, which in turn caused sickness and even plague. Hygiene in medieval times relied on washing often and utilizing herbs and flowers to deter pesticides and provide pleasant odors. Peasants who couldn't afford these things bathed less often and lived closely surrounded by filth. Feminine hygiene in the Middle Ages led women to use a variety of everyday objects during their periods. Although living in the Middle Ages had obvious and often uncomfortable differences from the modern world, these medieval hygiene facts show peasants tried their best to stay clean.

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