What Was Used as Bandages in Ancient Times?

Bandages are a crucial tool in the field of medicine, used to cover wounds and promote healing. However, the use of bandages is not a recent invention.

In fact, ancient civilizations have used various materials as bandages for centuries. Let’s take a closer look at what was used as bandages in ancient times.

Ancient Egyptian Bandages

The Ancient Egyptians were known for their advanced knowledge of medicine and their use of bandages. The most commonly used material for Egyptian bandages was linen.

Linen strips were soaked in water and then wrapped tightly around the wound to promote healing. The mummies found in Egyptian tombs are a testament to the effectiveness of these linen bandages.

Roman Bandages

The Romans were also known for their advanced medical practices and their use of bandages. They used wool or linen strips that were soaked in vinegar or wine before being applied to the wound. This was done to prevent infection and promote healing.

Chinese Bandages

In ancient China, silk was the material of choice for bandages. Silk is known for its strength, durability, and ability to keep wounds clean. Chinese physicians would soak silk strips in medicinal herbs before applying them to the wound.

Greek Bandages

The Ancient Greeks used a variety of materials as bandages including wool, linen, and even spider webs! Spider webs were believed to have medicinal properties that could help heal wounds.

Native American Bandages

Native Americans used plant fibers such as yucca leaves or bark from trees as bandages. They would boil these materials to soften them before applying them to the wound.


As we can see, ancient civilizations had a deep understanding of medicine and the importance of treating wounds properly. They used a variety of materials as bandages, each with its own unique properties.

From linen in Egypt to spider webs in Greece, the use of bandages has been an important part of medical history. Today, we have access to modern materials such as gauze and adhesive bandages, but the principles of wound care remain the same.