one is down with a flu, one can easily walk over to a clinic nearby
for a checkup and obtain some medicine for flu. This medicine can
come in many forms, such as in syrup and in tablets. Ever wondered
what medicine in the past was like then?"
was discovered that the ancient Egyptians were among the first to
use certain herbs and drugs as a form of medicine. They also knew
how to set and splint fractured bones, using skills that were so
advanced and even rather similar to the way many doctors treat their
patients today. More surprisingly, there is evidence that some surgery
was also practiced in ancient Egypt. However, during that time,
there was no knowledge of the use of aesthesia and the method used
to render a patient unconscious was to strike him on the head with
a mallet! Imagine how dangerous that was! (How many patients that
blow could have killed!)
was also said to have been practised by the Babylonians of Mesopotamia,
though the techniques used were more advanced than the Egyptians'.
There was even a collection of laws set up and compiled in "The
Code of Hammurabi" in about 1800 BC, which listed the penalties
that had to be paid by unsuccessful surgeons. For instance, if the
patient lost an eye because of faulty surgery, the surgeon had to
pull out his own eye too! It's definitely a wonder how some of the
Babylonians still dared to practice medicine given such strict laws!
ancient Greeks on the other hand, came up with the concept of the
doctrine of the four humors. The humors were blood, black bile,
yellow bile, and phlegm, which were believed to be balanced in a
healthy person. The reason why a person fell ill was due to the
fact that these fluids were disturbed. However, it was only centuries
later that this doctrine was discovered to be of not much truth
at all. Hippocrates, known as the "father of medicine," was one
of the most famous Greek physician. He separated medicine from superstition.
He also established a code of what should be expected of physicians.
The Hippocratic oath is still well-respected by modern physicians.
the ancient Chinese, much of the knowledge of early Chinese medicine
was obtained from the Yellow Emperor's "Nei Ching" (Classic of Internal
Medicine), which was previously believed to date from before the
year 2000 BC, but is now believed to be from the 2nd century BC.
They were known to use religious, magical, and herbal cures. In
addition, acupuncture, ginseng, meditation, and introspective therapy
were used in Chinese medicine.
today, Chinese medicine is still widely used in countries such as
China and even in Singapore. Even better still, Chinese medicine
is sometimes combined with western medicine and used as one. What
do you think are the differences between western and Chinese medicine?
Is better than the other? I would say that like all things, both
types of medicine have their own positive and negative points. What
do you think?
herbalist begins the mixing of a medicinal potion among jars containing
many varieties of herbal medicines.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates established a code of ethical
behavior still used by physicians. This illustration appears in
a Greek medical text from around 1342.
A modern surgery going on. A surgeon uses specialized equipment
to remove a cataract at a hospital in Detroit, Mich. Surgeons are
medical specialists who undergo extensive training before they are