Friday, June 14, 2013

Practise of Medicine in Ancient Egypt

The doctors were highly respected in ancient Egyptian society, even by modern standards their practice was a mixture of true science, quackery and superstition magic trick pass. Ancient Egyptian physicians had a high international reputation in their time and they were in great demand by kings and princes outside the borders of Egypt. A papyrus account from the period Rammesid tells a story of "Prince of Bakhten" (Hittite king) who sent an appeal to His Majesty the King of Egypt because of Bentrach, his daughter, who was hit by a disease which caused its members to twitch violently. Pharaoh graciously sent a scribe of the "House of Life" to go to Bakhten and attend the daughter of the Hittite king.
Egyptian medicine was the exclusive domain of priests. The ancient physicians were mostly priests of the Serket gods, Neith and Ra-Atum. They cultivated herb gardens to provide medication. It was dedicated to the goddess Neith at Sais temple with a faculty of medicine and a herbarium which produced various herbs and plant products such as castor oil, mandrake, dill, cumin, staghorn and coriander.
Medical papyri of ancient Egypt dates back to the Old Kingdom. The ancient Egyptians revered tradition and the oldest medical papyrus or method of treatment was greater authority assigned to it.
How reliable was serving Egyptian doctors?
We know that ancient Egyptian physicians were qualified quacks (a practice still very developed among indigenous doctors in many parts of Africa). Ancient Egyptian physicians were familiar with antiseptic herbs and ointments they used very effective in the treatment of wounds and cuts which they dressed with bandages and poultices.
Their biggest area of ​​weakness was in internal medicine, obviously, remained largely a mystery to them. Here, they returned to spells, incantations and magic formulas. Most of the time the service was over the doctor's threat to life and health of the patient and the disease itself. The clinic doctor included a bizarre collection of "drug" as the lizard blood, feces toads and frogs, the wings of bats, snail viscera and mud disposal, breast milk and menstrual blood of the Virgin.
These evil concoctions were usually made with magical incantations and other strange maneuvers. However, not all darkness ancient Egyptian physicians in the field of internal medicine. They were aware of the importance of cardiac function. Historians have often expressed their surprise at the ignorance of the ancient Egyptian physician abdominal organs such as the liver, kidneys and pancreas, given the development of the art and practice of embalming in ancient Egypt . However, it was stressed that the Egyptian embalmers were generally not doctors and physicians are generally not embalmers. The opportunity for cross-fertilization of ideas and knowledge between the two professions was limited to occupations usually jealously guarded their knowledge and skills lay.
Herodotus commented on the great concern of the ancient Egyptians for their health. "They take care of their health with emetic and purgative they use three consecutive days each month and they believe that all evil comes from ingested food."
Despite their limited ancient Egyptian physicians treated to specialize knowledge. According to Herodotus, there were healers eyes, stomach and bones. There were specialized gynecologists mainly dealing with infertility problems that practice records show that most of it was dangerous and that "Gynecologists" could be considered frankly threat to the health of their patients.
The ancient Egyptians were also interested in aesthetic medicine, as indicated by a papyrus style: Book of Transforming an old man in a young man of twenty.

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