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The Development Of Ancient Medicine & Influences

1745 words - 7 pages

Many different cultures have tried different methods as to find out about the causes of disease and how to treat different kinds of diseases. Various countries have come up with alternate cures and treatments for various diseases. These ancient societies compromise of China, Greece, Egypt and South America. They practiced a wide range of cures for their patients, and they specialize in different fields. For example, meditation and acupuncture were practices in China. Dissection, operations and drug therapy were also performed. But how did theses societies – who did not have as much technology as today – found out about the different illnesses and their cures?
The western medicines usually compromise the use of folk remedies and prayers. They now believed that sickness was not a result of punishments sent from gods, but something ‘natural’. Dissection was performed and thus, they knew more about the internal organs of animals – although they were not allowed to dissect humans yet. Plants were also used as medicines. These were known as herbal medicines. In the eastern countries, there seem to be more on religious treatments, and healing the entire body – not just the deformed part. They believed that the whole body is to be treated to maintain a healthy body and prevent disease.
Various kinds of treatments were discovered throughout the ancient societies. These cures includes trepanning, surgery, herbal medicines, religious or agricultural remedies, and sacrifices. These were the forms of treatments undertaken by the patients. One interesting fact includes the operated remains, especially the trepanning of the skull. A number of these patients survived the treatment, as some of the wounds have signs of healing. Therefore, they must have lived for sometime before death.

Medicine was an important aspect of Greek life. The ancient Greeks were thought to be the fathers of medicine, especially Hippocrates, whose ideas still influenced the modern world. He was also the founder and developer of physics, and considered the human being as an organic whole. Diseases were caused by something supernatural, for example, the will of a god. Therefore, one easy way of healing was to visit a temple.
There was a legend about a doctor named Asclepius – who lived in about 1200BC – was so successful in curing the sick that he was now known as a god. People who were diseased slept at his temples, and he was said to cure them at night. Other prayer and magical rituals of healing includes the use of diet and mineral baths. By 400BC, their doctors began to use more practical means to cure illnesses. They healed wounds with alcohol. Herbal remedies were used. Also during this period, was the formation of the ‘the four humours’. Its formation was due to the belief that the world was made up of four elements – air, earth, fire and water. So, the human body was made up of the four humours known as – blood, phlegm, yellow bile (choler), and black bile (melancholy)....

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