By Lois N. Magner
Stressing significant issues within the heritage of medication, this moment variation explores the occasions, methodologies, and theories that formed scientific practices in many years earlier and in sleek medical perform. It highlights practices of civilizations worldwide and examine of pioneering scientists and physicians who contributed to our present knowing of future health and affliction. New sections hide preventive and replacement medication, clinical schooling for ladies, miasma and contagion theories, the specter of epidemic disorder, altering styles of morbidity and mortality, public future health and sanitary reforms, the excessive expense of remedy, illnesses of affluence and getting older, and the emergence of recent ailments.
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Additional resources for A History of Medicine, Second Edition
Wound dressings often contained noxious materials, such as cow dung and powdered insects, as well as ingredients that might function as astringents and antiseptics. Traditional wound dressings might contain pharmacologically valuable ingredients, such as ergot, which is present in rye smut, but symbolic values are likely to predominate. The odds of ﬁnding penicillin, or other effective antibiotics in earth taken from a recent grave are actually vanishingly small. Traditional surgeons were often quite skillful in the treatment of fractures and dislocations, although the treatment might be considered incomplete until the appropriate incantations were recited over the splints or a lizard’s head was tied to the wound.
Selection of the appropriate remedy may be guided by either the principle of opposites or the principle of similars. For example, if roasted rabbit brains failed to cure excessive timidity, courage might be found in the blood of a ferocious beast. Lowly animals such as mice and moles were used in remedies for warts, coughs, fevers, ﬁts, and bedwetting, but no creature has served the healing art as diligently as the leech. According to folk beliefs, this natural medical device can selectively remove the ‘‘bad blood’’ from arthritic joints and reduce the swelling of a black eye.
According to the epic, when Gilgamesh returned from his journey, he engraved the story of all his adventures and the wonders of the city of Uruk on a clay tablet for the instruction of posterity. Thus, ever since the time of Gilgamesh, each time a snake sheds its old skin its rebirth reminds human beings that they must grow old and die. Nevertheless, the epic tells us, even though great heroes may die they become immortalized in the written record of their great deeds. , he reached the remarkable conclusion that the Babylonians had no doctors.