The two greatest misconceptions about medicine arise primarily from our modern attempts at interpreting the medical system of the Middle Ages. The fi rst misconception is to see medicine in the Middle Ages as an unsophisticated system. Early scholars of medieval medicine found medieval doctors’ theories ridiculous when compared to modern ones. Charles Singer, for example, found medieval medicine demonstrative of “the wilting mind of the Dark Ages.”1 Singer also believed that medieval medicine, specifi cally the Anglo-Saxon herbals, “lacked any rational element which might mark the beginnings of scientifi c advance.”2 But recently, historians like M. L. Cameron, in Anglo-Saxon Medicine, and John Riddle, in Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance, attempt to validate medieval medicine in light of modern medicine. By analyzing common herbals, both Cameron and Riddle have found a few recipes that have therapeutic merit.