OCR, History, Medicine, Through, Time, Unit 2 Egyptian Medicine

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The first major civilisation which developed into a specialized society
where trades were based on through generations.
Developed methods of calculation and writing which greatly helped
medical progress.
Polytheists ­ believed in many gods who ultimately controlled everything
by both causing illness and giving physicians the skill to cure.
Cause and Cure of Disease
Supernatural diseases were caused by a spirit entering a body and so charms
were worn to keep spirits away ­ an amulet of the goodness Taweret was
worn by pregnant women to keep them and them safe.
Good trade ensured that Egypt had a rich supply of herbs and spices which
were used to make herbal cures. These had supernatural beliefs behind
them, as they were intended to drive evil spirits away. If a drug was
successful it was recorded and used again ­ over time a huge network of
successful cures had been found.
Blocked Channel Theory developed as a natural idea to the cause and cure
of disease from observations of irrigation channels. It led to common
sense cures which saw the use of vomiting, purges and bleeding to unblock
Often supernatural ideas were used alongside natural cures which had
previously been found to be successful. Quite often spells could be
prescribed alongside herbal cures.
Learnt anatomy from religious beliefs of mummification. This involved
cutting out the major organs, so Egyptians had decent knowledge of the
positioning of most internal organs.
They were restricted by religion however to research further into the
workings of the body.
Surgery was a craft passed on from father to son.
Only simple procedures were conducted such as treating dislocations.
There are also records of them performing minor surgery such as the
removal of cysts and tumours. Operating wounds were treated with will
leaves which is a natural antiseptic and made these minor operations
reasonably successful.
Public Health

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Egyptian religion encouraged cleanliness and so people kept clean for
religion and comfort rather than health.
Mosquito nets were used for comfort when in fact they prevented the
spread of malaria.
Water was too valuable to use in toilets, so slaves carried excrement into
fields to be used for manure.
Medical Profession
First time in history where a successful specialised medical profession
emerged. It was a skill which was passed down through generations.
They were encouraged to follow known successful treatments found in
medical textbooks.…read more


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