The ideas of the medieval medicine was a complex perspective of tradition and the use of exciting ancient ideas, which was of spiritual influence, the development of early sciences combined the ‘Shamanistic ideas’ and ‘Social Consensus’ to create medicines that people would have trusted and believed in.
figure one ( Sami shaman with his drum)
Examples such as a the Greek medical foundation that came from classical writing, from the “Hippocratic Corpus”. Such as some phrases which basic modern concept of medicine was like “Hippocratic Oath” as in “Do No Harm”.
Figure two from (page 27 of Surgery: An)–
Here are some examples of medicine techniques that was used
Bloodletting was an important tradition and cure for many diseases. This was similar to trapping of and releasing of bad blood. But they used leeches.
figure three (Bloodletting was a common panacea, a therapy to ‘rebalance the humours’. Image: © The British Library Board (Folio 11v, Le Regime du corps) )
Monasteries were institutions that were not just a central place of worship and spiritual events, it was also a place of practicing and learning of medical knowledge. Monasteries produced their own food and cared for the sick, which led to the development of hospitals.
Figure four ( Sümela Monastery from google images)
Other examples of medicine practices that were used in middle ages Europe
Trepanation was another form of medical practice which was used to remove the “stone of Madness” which was believed to be a window for the devil enter into ones mind and able to see and corrupt the soul. To remove the eye or stone, this was a common practice for pressure and problems in the mind. Cures for various ailments, including seizures and skull fractures.
figure five ( http://www.rijksmuseum.nl )–
But the factors of having doctors was still relatively at different stages in different areas of the world, since the “wise men” or “wise women” still diagnosed and dealt with major problems of illness. For easing the pain, before operating at the time was with the use of “herbs” usually used to numb the pain or the use of “alcoholic” breweries. Mostly in Asia opium was used as a big part of numbing pain as.
Hemorrhoids were very problematic and a source of agony and pain. They used hot iron rods for there Anus, but this was for more extreme cases. Even with more physiological practices people still used prayers for divine intervention for illness during the middle ages.
figure seven (Brian J. Ford (1993) Images of Science: A History of Scientific Illustration, Oxford University Press ISBN 0195209834)
Rituals played an important part for medicine with the pagan beliefs, the religious and scientific element with such cases as the Bubonic plague or the “black death”, it was believed that if they were able to confess there sins to god in church they would be cured.
figure eight ( images from google images)
Finally another interesting development of medicine was the removal of the eye “Eye Cataract Surgery” in the earlier operation this was used with a sharp knife or needle to pierce the corona of the eye and lens into the bottom of the capsule of the eye. In Some practices this worked and results as well as methods varied.
figure nine ( A cataract surgery. Dictionnaire Universel de Médecine (1746-1748).)
and stay groovy everyone !