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EGYPTIANS, NOT GREEKS WERE TRUE FATHERS OF MEDICINE

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Author Topic: EGYPTIANS, NOT GREEKS WERE TRUE FATHERS OF MEDICINE  (Read 16393 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2007, 10:01:48 pm »

 
 











 
MEDICINE AND MAGIC IN ANCIENT EGYPT

By Connie Vines


     
 

 
In ancient times the Egyptian doctor was also a priest and sometimes a magician...

"Thou are not above me--I am Amon, I am Anhor, the beautiful slayer. I am the prince, the lord of the sword. rise not thyself--I am Mont."

Do you believe this chant will terrify crocodiles? Of course you don't. But the people of ancient Eqypt did. Magic, however, was only used when the physician dealt with the unknown. Medical science actually began in ancient Egypt.

The Eqyptians studied human anatomy and treated illness and accidents. Splints and casts were used for healing fractures. Open wounds were closed with sutures, clamps and a kind of adhesive plaster. These treatments were verified by a papyrus on surgery that was discovered by a historian. After examining several mummies, this historian also discovered that their broken bones had healed without complications and that minor dental work had been performed.

Considering that ancient civilizations were hampered by superstitions and limited technology, the Egyptians amassed a great amount of knowledge about plants. They utilized more than one-third of the plants now known for the exact same purpose.

An example is a hieroglyphic scroll called the Ebers Papyrus. One of its perscriptions was for soothing a crying child: "Take the pods of the poppy plant and add fly dirt that is on the wall.. Strain," Except for the fly dirt, this prescription calls for the same preparation pediatricians give colicky babies today.

The Nile people also devised a remedy for night blindness--roasted ox liver--quite reasonable since liver contains vision-aiding vitamin A. Onions were eaten to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by lack of vitamin C. The ancient Egyptains even pressed moldy bread into badly infected wounds; they also swallowed moldy bread for internal illness--thus anticipating penicillin and other 20th century antibiotics. Nile mud, which was often mixed into medicine, contains the antibiotic Aureomycin.

In ancient times the Egyptian doctor was also a priest and sometimes a magician. Part of his job was to make cosmetics to color hair and improve the skin. People would also ask his help in ridding their household of pests.

During this time the average person believed that pain, suffering, and misfortune were the work of spirits, so there was much concern about witchcraft and curses. Often the doctor would perscribe an amulet for his patient. Amulets in the shapes of gods for protection, scarab beetles, the Anhk (symbol of life), and the Eye of Horus. The Eye of Horus was the most common and is seen even today in Egyptian art and jewelry. This amulet was worn to bring the blessings of good health and safety.
                               

Headache remedy using a clay
crocodile and prayers.

Perhaps you don't think that this practice could be called proper medicine. But these symbols might well have been beneficial because the wearer believed that he was protected and would get well.

Today, we know that a positive attitude is extremely important in getting well. And in their ancient way these charms are in line with today's psychiatry, since they dealt with the mind. The same is true of the use of placebos, pills containing no medicine, in modern medicine. They are prescribed when a doctor believes that the mind has caused the illness. The patient is really cured by his belief, not by the medicine.

One lasting contribution to medicine was made by the ancient Egyptain doctor. They were the first to recognize the importance of the pulse, which they called the "voice of the heart," and to use it as part of their treatment.�
« Last Edit: June 04, 2007, 06:20:21 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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