Wednesday 28 October 2015

Sickness and Health

The desire to stay alive and healthy is a basic human instinct. It is no wonder, then, that people in early civilizations attempted to explain the origins of disease - and intervened to soothe pain, encourage healing, and effect cures.Some of these traditional approaches are still in use today.

The earliest known surgery is dated back to 40,000 BC was trepanning, drilling the hole in the skull to reveal disease causing spirits.

Some tools in Neolithic period were used in preemptive attempts at surgery. Flint tipped dental drills that were found in modern day Pakistan dates as back as 7,000 BC were used to remove rotten dental issues.

In Mesopotamia a willow bark extract was used to relieve headaches and reduce fever. That extract is salicyclic acid, the main ingredient in aspirin.
Medicinal herbs

Sushruta, was the man behind Ayurveda whose 6th century BC work Sushruta Samhita describe 100 surgical instruments and 300 procedures. He is often referred to as father of surgery.

The Olmec in Central America had areas of their gardens set aside for growing medicinal herbs.

Acupuncture - It aims to restore health and well being and to relive pain. Still one of the mainstays of Traditional Chinese Medicine, It was probably developed in Han China around 200 CE. it involves insertion of thin needles into the body at acupuncture points.

Theory Of Humors -  According to this theory human body was composed of four humors : Blood, Phlegm, Black bile and Yellow bile and illness was the result of an imbalance between them.

The Ebers Papyrus written in Egypt in 2nd Century BC contains long list of incantations designed to turn away evil spirits.

Ancient Rome is celebrated for it's initiative for public health. Their water supplies, heating systems , sewage and public baths were well ahead of their time.

During the 1st millennium BC  medicine became more systematic, but supernatural explanations and non-scientific folk remedies prevailed until after the scientific revolution of the 18th century.

1 comment:

  1. Health and sickness both are the part of life.All these modes of treatment which you have discussed in your article are effective.Be it herbal medicine(ayurvedic in Hindi) ,accupunture etc.


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