Prehistoric Medicine

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 107
  • Published : February 26, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Prehistoric superstitions and healing methods:

They used herbalism; the practise of using herbs to heal people. In each tribe there were shamans who would ‘exorcise ill people’ demons’ and apothecary. They had medicine men who were shamans and witch-doctors. They would provide supernatural treatments like charms, spells and amulets to ward off evil spirits. If someone was ill the medicine man would initiate a ceremony over the patient where they would use magic formulas prayers and drumming. People thought that the medicine men could contact the spirits or Gods so people looked up to them. They used healing clays to heal their internal and external wounds and just after surgery. Prehistoric people also used trepanning mainly in Peru. This was when they would drill a hole in a person’s skull to relieve pressure. It was mainly done as an emergency operation after a head wound to remove shattered bits of bone. They believed it would treat epileptic seizures, migraines and mental disorders. They would keep the bit of skull around their neck as they thought it would ward off evil spirits. Nowadays people use a modernised trephine instrument in a corneal transplant surgery.

Early medicine for Greeks and Romans:
Hippocrates:
Born 470 BCE ‘Father of Modern Medicine’ He had a theory of the 4 humours. He thought that the human body contained 4 important liquids called humours. They thought if the humours became unbalanced then people would become ill. The 4 humours were black bile, yellow bile blood and phlegm. His theory was wrong but it was a breakthrough in medicine because it made people think that illness was caused by something natural inside your body instead of the Greek Gods. Quote from a book in the Hippocratic Collection of books: ‘Man’s body……has blood, phlegm, yellow bile and melancholy (black) bile. These make up his parts and through them he feels illness or enjoys health. When all these elements are truly balanced and mingled, he feels the most...
tracking img