Prophecy and ritual were common place, and earlier folk believed that disasters carried other-worldly messages. God sent illnesses to communicate punishment for wrongdoing. Other reasons like the devil or mal-alignment of the planet were justifications too.
Transgressors would often have to provide a priest and an unblemished animal for sacrifice.
The black death was the worst plague until Europe was hit by the 1919 Influenza pandemic.
Earlier pandemics were common in biblical times and the book of Exodus speaks of cures for blood, boils, hail, locusts, frogs, and lice!
Mentioned in passing, literal evidence we know that plants and spices in the Middle East were commonplace in remedial experimentation.
Such as coriander, cumin, garlic, henna, pomegranate, carob and fennel.
Biblical texts reveal that at least one or two additions of incense and frankincense were used in religious rituals.
Eventually, medical information was filtered through from the Catholic church in the West and Islam in the near East.
The monasteries played a huge role and had medical routines like bloodletting, examinations of pulse, stools, and urine.
Balancing the bodies system was a priority using plants and herbs. Camomile was used to treat scabies, comfrey to heal wounds, and fresh green sage to whiten teeth!
Bearing in mind that the medical expertise and array of drugs available today could have saved thousands of lives in the past but disease is as old as mankind itself. The devastation resulted in experimenting with not only nature’s gifts but the arrival of Arabic and other texts valuable even to this day.