Medicine Of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptian medicine — the oldest documented medical systems. With XXXIII century BC until the Persian invasion in 525 BC she has not undergone any special changes in terms of practice, which, however, was advanced for its time, in some historical periods and include simple non-invasive surgery, methods of treatment of fractures and extensive set of Pharmacopoeia. Ancient Egyptian medicine influenced many subsequent medical systems of the Ancient world, including Greek.
The main source of information about ancient Egyptian medicine for a long time there have been reports of Greek authors, but deciphering in 1822, the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics allowed including to read the texts on the papyri relating to the medical knowledge of Ancient Egypt.
The doctors of Ancient Egypt had a good reputation, and rulers of other empires even asked the Pharaoh to send him to doctors to treat their relatives. The names of some of the physicians of Egypt even remained in the history.
Egyptian doctors were aware of pulse and a link between pulse and heart. The author of the “papyrus Smith” even had a vague idea about the cardiovascular system, although not of blood circulation and he was unable or considered it unimportant, to distinguish between blood vessels, tendons and nerves. The ancient Egyptians developed their theory of “channels” that carried air,water and blood in the body by analogies with the river Nile; if it becomes blocked, the field will become unhealthy and they applied this principle to the body: if a person was sick, then you need to use laxatives to unblock the “channels”.
Many medical practices were effective, for example, many surgical procedures described in the Smith papyrus. Basically, the advice of doctors to preserve health included recommendations to wash and shave bodies, including under the arms, as this will help to prevent infection. They also recommended that patients monitor their diet and avoid foods such as raw fish or raw meat of other animals that were considered unclean.
Many methods have been ineffective or harmful — in particular, many prescription medications contain animal manure, which contains products of fermentation and molds, some of which have medicinal properties, but also bacteria posing a serious threat of infection.
The operation was a fairly common practice among physicians for the treatment of injuries. Egyptian physicians recognized three categories of injuries: treatable, contentious and incurable disease. Curable disease surgeons quickly operated. Controversial diseases were those in which the patient could presumably survive without treatment, so patients that were included in this category were observed and if they survived, were made of surgical attempts to cure it. Surgical instruments found in archaeological sites include knives, hooks, drills, forceps, scales, spoons, saws and vase with incense.
Male circumcision was the norm, as stated by Herodotus in his “History”. Although its effectiveness as a procedure was rarely mentioned, the lack of it in other cultures was frequently noted, the lack of circumcision among Liberians repeatedly stated in the papyri, and from military campaigns uncircumcised phalli were brought as trophies, which suggests novelty. Although other documents that describe the initiation into religious societies, through circumcision, suggests that this practice was special and not widespread. The only known image of the procedure in the tomb of the doctor shows Teens and adults, not children. Female circumcision could be applied in practice, although no mention of it in ancient texts there.
Prosthetics such as artificial fingers or eyes existed, but had largely decorative than practical effect.
Separately existed and dentistry, but it was on a rather low level of development. The condition of the teeth of the majority of Egyptians were bad because of too coarse grain. Dental disease could even be the cause of death. The aching tooth, as a rule, was removed, as an anesthetic was used opium.