Decent Essays
In ancient Greek times, knowledge of herbs and other drugs to treat diseases started earlier than what can be remembered. People used science to come up with ways to treat illnesses and disease. The science of medicine was simply trial and error. For plants, they would classify them based on utility and danger to determine if the plants could be used for treatment. Besides plants, trepanation was a common procedure done in the prehistoric times as treatment of head injuries. During this time, midwives and healers were also fairly common. Later, during the the time of Aristotle, incubation and bloodletting were common. Asclepios and Hippocrates were major medical figures around this time.
Many of the skills during the prehistoric times show
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A century later, another famous healing site was built on the island of Cos, where Hippocrates was thought to have started his career. Known as the “father of medicine,” Hippocrates was a student at the Cos medical student and perhaps, later a professor there. The Cos medical school was created for students to study to become what is known today as primary care physicians. Therefore, the knowledge of Hippocrates was not limited to one area of the body. His medical theory consisted of four humors: phlegm, blood, yellow bile, and black bile. Thus, the theory was if someone was sick, one or more of their humors were imbalanced or not in harmony. Hippocrates stated,
"The body of man has in itself blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile; these make up the nature of the body, and through these he feels pain or enjoys health. Now, he enjoys the most perfect health when these elements are duly proportioned to one another in respect to compounding, power and bulk, and when they are perfectly mingled. Pain is felt when one of these elements is in defect or excess, or is isolated in the body without being compounded with all the
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Through therapeutics, Hippocrates aimed at the body’s system building up a natural resistance to fight off the disease. He focused on prescribing patients diet, exercise, and hydrotherapy, to name a few. He would prescribe patients a very light or liquid diet depending on if the person had a minor illness or more major illness. Hippocrates was very conservative in prescribing medicine. Although earlier medical professionals abused bloodletting, Hippocrates seldom used it. When he did perform bloodletting, it was thought to reduce fire, or body temperature of the person if they had a fever (“Hippocrates”). However, the most common way to treat the imbalance of the humors was to attempt to rebalance them. They would keep a patient warm with blankets if they had a cold, for example. On the other hand, a patient with a fever would be given a place to rest that was cold and dry. To treat a person with pneumonia, barley soup as well as vinegar and honey would be given. This was to help the phlegm come up easier (“Greek
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