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Health and Medicine During the Elizabethan Era

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on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Health and Medicine During the Elizabethan Era

Elizabethan physicians wore long dark clothing, and a bird like mask which had a beak containing begamot oil. They also had little to none knowledge about diseases ,and didn't know why most diseases were caused like the plague and typhoid. Only the rich could afford physicians. Health and Medicine During the Elizabethan Era The Doctrine of Signatures This theory is a philosophy shared by herbalists. The shape and colour of the herb can determine the area of the body is would be useful in by resembling that part of the body. An example is that snake root could cure snake bites. Magic There was a very strong belief in magic, every social class believed in it. There is very little that differs magic and medical science back then. Wise women were perceived as witches for brewing potions and cures. External illnesses If the illness is foreign to the body an exorcism will be used. Astrology Many believe that astrology had a significance in the cause of illnesses such as planets and stars not being aligned, your zodiac sign, can all determine the strength and length of the illness. Elizabethan Physicians Housewives had common knowledge about herbs.If that didn't work you would proceed to the wise woman who helped the poor who couldn't afford a surgeon, barber, or physician. During the Elizabethan era they believed in six popular theories. The first theory was formed from the ancient greek god Galen. He believed that the body contained four bodily fluids called "humors", blood, phlegm, black and yellow bile. Each had their own characteristic blood being hot and wet, phlegm is cold and wet. A healthy person would have a balance of these humors. Causes for illnesses Most illnesses were caused because their was a lack of sanitation in large cities, open sewers in streets, rats lived abundantly carrying fleas and lice spreading diseases, such as the worst disease the plaque or "Black Death". Cures Cures during the Elizabethan era were quite basic and were created from herbs didn't have any medicinal value. Bleeding was also a supposed cure. Drawing blood from the body by cuts of a vein or leeches. After catching an illness you would first go to your housewife. Chemical Science Is the science of mixing different herbs to find a remedy for a cure, such as tobacco, lily root, dried toad, an arsenic. If you caught the plaque or Typhoid most physicians would not accept you, and if you were accepted, you needed to have money to pay for being cut and having a shaved chicken strapped to the infected area.
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