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A Brief History Of Medicine Essay

2841 words - 12 pages

Medicine is the science or practice of the diagnosis; treatment and prevention of disease. Ancient Greek civilization sprung up around the 8th century BC. The first evidence of Greek medicine becoming a factor in Greek life came from Homer's the Odyssey and Iliad. In these stories we hear about Machaon and Podalirius the brilliant doctors and excellent men who assisted the injured men in the siege of Troy. Out of every three children born, only two would ever reach the age of two years. The life-expectancy of a healthy Greek adult was about fifty years. It all started with priests, who also acted as magicians and healers. Greeks also viewed illness as a punishment for not keeping the ...view middle of the document...

This continued to be a modern practice until approximately twenty years ago. Today it is more of a family matter while you are delivery. During childbirth the women in ancient Greece were given olive oil for injection and lubrication to dull pain. They also used warm fomentations for alleviation of the pains. Today we simple give women who are having birth an epidural by injecting a needle up the spine. While the woman is giving birth, warm water is kept on hand as well as sea sponges so that she can keep certain parts clean during the birth. In modern days natural child birth is rare, and the only thing modern women have on hand during the child birth is their husband’s hand to squeeze the life from. Once the baby is born in modern days he is named, stamped, cleaned, and rushed off while the mother spends about two hours recuperating. In ancient Greece once the baby is born, he or she is swaddled in bandages while pieces of wool are used to cover up the woman's parts. A pillow is also present for the infant to be placed upon below the parturient woman till the after birth is taken care of. Due to the agony that natural birth causes, Greeks in ancient times used different scents such as pennyroyal, a clod of earth, barley grouts, apple, quince, lemon, melon, and cucumber to revive the laboring woman since Greeks in ancient times did not have the equipment or drugs to revive people who are overwhelmed by childbirth. Deadly diseases have survived throughout the ages unlike the poor souls that happen upon them. In modern days it’s hard to imagine a deadly disease or any disease as incurable because of how far we have advanced in medicine. In ancient Greece a deadly disease such as the plague or gangrene was incurable unless past generations had built up immunity to the disease or you resorted to amputation to prevent deadly gangrene. The Greeks that contracted a deadly disease were not doomed right off the bat. One option they could try was sympathetic healing. Sympathetic healing was if you were inflicted with the plague you could transferred your disease to another object. This was also known as magical healing. "The principle of transference suggested, for example, that if one rubbed a wart with the cut side of an onion and then buried the onion, the wart would shrivel as the onion rotted. Sympathy worked with both similarities and opposites, especially in regard to herbal remedies. For example, yellow herbs were good for curing jaundice as well as evoking strong diuretic reactions." (Androutsos 34). Hippocrates also offered a method for illnesses. His method was called the Hippocratic method and it took place on the island of Kos Asklepieion because God Asklepois was rumored or believed to assist in the healing process. Hippocrates transformed theocratic medicine into rational medicine; however, he still recognized that God's help was necessary. Back in its glory day, Asklepieion of Kois had four levels of...

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