Medieval medicine

  • Created by: holly6901
  • Created on: 19-03-19 18:05
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  • Medieval Medicine C.1250-C.1500
    • Ideas about the cause of disease and illness
      • Supernatural explanations
        • Astrology: The alignment of the stars and planets was used in diagnosing illness.
        • Star charts would be consulted to help provide a diagnosis
      • Religious explanations
        • The church taught that illness was a punishment from God for sins.
        • When people recovered, the church claimed it was because of their prayers
        • The church also taught that disease was from God
      • Theory of the four Humours
        • This theory was developed by Hippocrates and continued to influence ideas in Medieval England
        • The Four Humours are yellow bile, black bile, blood and phlegm
        • It was believed an imbalance of Humours made you ill and balanced Humours meant good health
      • Miasma theory
        • Miasma was bad air that was believed to be harmful. It was believed it contained smoke and poisonous gases that made people ill
        • Medieval beliefs suggested that any rotting matter caused diseases
    • Approaches to prevention and treatment
      • Supernatural and religious ideas
        • Healing prayers
        • Fasting
        • Lighting candles in church
        • Flagellation
        • Pilgrimages
        • Star charts prescribed treatments
      • Rational ideas
        • Bloodletting
        • Purging
        • Herbal remedies
        • Instructions from regimen sanitatis were used for prevention
    • Case Study: The Black Death
      • Beliefs about the causes
        • God had sent the disease
        • Unusual alignment of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in 1345
        • An imbalance of the Four Humours
        • Miasma from a volcano or earthquake
      • Approaches to treatment
        • People prayed, confessed sins and asked for God's forgiveness
        • Holy charms were worn
        • Bleeding and purging based on the Theory of Opposites
        • A victim would sniff strong herbs
        • Many victims would replace the bad air inside them with smoke from a fire
        • Victims would lance their buboes to release pus


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