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Medieval Hygiene: 25 Practices Of The Middle Ages

Today, we might take staying clean and fresh for granted. Did you ever take time to think about how life would be without toothpaste, face wash, and deodorant? Well, looking back at medieval hygiene will give you a pretty good idea.

We forget that toothpaste, shaving cream, and shampoo weren’t always around. In fact, people who lived during the medieval period had a different understanding of what hygiene meant. It’s pretty clear that there was a different understanding based on how they kept themselves fresh during that time.

Here are 25 hygiene practices from the medieval ages. They will make you never take your hygiene products for granted. Let’s start with the first one.

1. Deodorant was non-existent during the medieval ages. As a result, people would carry around a small bouquet of flowers to block off the stench. The bouquet was known as “nosegays”, which also means “ornament”, according to Wikipedia. They were typically worn like necklaces. Just imagine walking around on a regular basis holding your deodorant as opposed to wearing it. Wonder what they did for those who had some serious body odor issues. Perhaps those people would wear two bouquets of flowers or even three.

2. Toilets are something we all definitely take advantage of. During medieval times, indoor plumbing wasn’t very common. If you were poor during this time, you basically had to go clear your system wherever you could. If you were wealthier, you had something called a privy, which is an outhouse, according to Healthy Way. It would give you privacy but would consist of a piece of wood over a hole in the ground.

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