Having read and transcribed a good 15thc medical treatise, which has its roots in earlier practice, I can say that most recipes for cures and treatments are made up on the spot for use as required, two main reasons for this, the first is as the honourable Brother says, is storage, if ingredients are active and they have to be to be useful, then there comes a point that they will decay, unless dessicated and then reactivated, but salves, poultices and plaisters are made up PRN, the second is cost and availability, not always practical to have a load of items in store 'just in case', especially if the former point is taken into account.
As for 'books; being a male thing, possibly, but the few people I know who are really into their medieval medicine are mainly women, who are academics and reenactors, who use a combination of documentation, past and present and research into active ingredients or the efficacy of said medieval medicines.
"with this attitued, the vikings did not wear shoes, until they found the ones in york at a dig,"
There are other sources of information other than 'books', such as art, so that is a false analogy.
"there is still no evidence for children from around 700 - 815 'ish AD as no graves or other evidence has been found"
Everyone that lived is a child of someone else, you could make this odd notion stretch further by saying that not many people lived in the viking age because very few graves have been found, or any period prior to the modern one, but that would be silly. Interestingly, for the later middle ages, coroners' records show us the deaths of many children and adults, grave locations are irrelevant in that case to prove child presence.
"there has to be an element of common sense, book reading is fine if you are Physic, Chirurgeon, Urologist, Magician, Alchemist, Lawer etc., or any of the other proffessions open to men, but as woman were not allowed to have a practice on the main streets, be in competition with or be members of the MALE GUILDS, then I am afraid that a little housewife thinking has to come into play."
Are you sure about that, there are some 15thc English medical treatises which feature women as prominent players, granted they are in midwifery***. Plus you might be reinforcing a belief that women were not able to read, when we know that in the later middles ages that literacy was growing and spreading and that women had their own guilds, professional as well as social.
I have this one in another book on medieval medicine.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... sician.jpg
Recipe books for food often contain medical recipes, the Pepsyian cook book, that was republished as 'Styr it well' has a few household remedies.
Bandages: do you include slings and supports? presumably an arm could be broken and have an open wound, I know there are images of people with slings and other bindings.
a1500 Hrl.2378 Recipes (Hrl 2378) 85/4: Take a lynnen cloth and trusse it wele fro the kne doun to the ancle.
c1440 Thrn.Med.Bk.(Thrn) 1/6: Do it one lyn clathe & bynde it abowte þe heuede.
Bindel - small roll of cloth for bandaging
?a1425 *Chauliac(1) (NY 12) 67b/b: Be þe wonde bounden fro withoutforþ with stupatez & byndelez [*Ch.(2): rolles; L bindellis].
?a1425 *Chauliac(1) (NY 12) 85a/b: A bristel or threde made of hemp
, or of som smal byndel [*Ch.(2): bonde; L bindello] or of a litel corde þat is put in.
?a1425 *Chauliac(1) (NY 12) 96b/a: A litel byndel of cloþ anoynted wiþ som corrosyue.
?a1425 *Chauliac(1) (NY 12) 99b/a: Be þer put aboue splentez..and be þai bounden with a towel or a byndel.
bandages and bindings are mentioned quite frequently with regards to wounds and breaks.
re cloth in wounds, that is I believe to do with the fact that if you are wearing clothes when say shot or cut, then fibres with contamination
may enter the wound, not as a result of bandaging, or even the fibres themselves, just any contamination the clothes might have in the first place.
Underwear linens are boiled and lyed, so presumably they had a reasonable idea of what a clean cloth might look and feel like, not bacteriologically of course.
Doesn't Hildegard von Bingen recommend hemp bandages to treat wounds and ulcers?
Are you tying up linen = flax rather than linen = hemp/flax/nettle?
PLus, the word 'cloth' is used a lot, depending on the context it can mean wool, linen or any of the textiles, difficult surely to say that linen was NOT used.
I would turn the idea of non-linen use as bandages on its head by simply asking if we know linen to be more likely to cause infection of wounds, I mean clean linen. You ask us to use common sense, linen in various forms was freely available and used in a variety of ways including food, so why not as a wound binding, makes sense to me.