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Medicine Of The Elizabethan Era
Transcript of Medicine Of The Elizabethan Era
This picture is of an Elizabethan physician.At first,the physician might look more like a murderer than a doctor,but his getup probably saved him from contracting diseases from his patients.
The illnesses that existed during the Elizabethan era were all quite common.Anemia was ordinary as was rheumatism, arthritis,tuberculosis and dysentery.Child bearing and possible child-bed fever was dangerous.Many Elizabethan woman made arrangements for the care of their children in case they died during childbirth.Illnesses in the Elizabethan era wouldn't have been such a problem if the surroundings of the surgery weren't so unsanitary.Broken bones,wounds, abscesses and fractures were treated in unsanitary environments making the condition even worse.The only cure for toothache was having the tooth pulled without anesthetics. Amputations were performed by surgeons and the stump was burned after it was cut.Poor living conditions and poor diet led to many illnesses suffered by both the wealthy and the poor.
The Advancement Of Medicine
Medicine today would be much less developed if the doctors of the Elizabethan era hadn't tested and studied the human body.People were killed during the tests for cures,but it was all for a good cause:a future with improved medicine.
Medicine In The Elizabethan Era
Elizabethan medicine was administered by different people.Your doctor depended on your class and whether you had money to pay the fee.
Diagnosis Of Illnesses
The doctors of the Elizabethan era had enough intelligence to first find out what the disease was,instead of trying remedies right from the start.Urine charts were used to assist physicians diagnose illnesses.Certain colored urine indicated certain illnesses.Combined with a table of the planets,these gave physicians enough information to diagnose a disease.Once the disease had been diagnosed,a treatment was used.Diagnosis was also influenced by astrology.Medical charts informed physicians what not to do for people born under a certain star sign.
Medicine In The Elizabethan Era
In the Renaissance,some aspects of medicine and doctors were still in a Dark Age.Outbreaks of disease were common,doctors were poor,and medicine was primitive.Many times doctors would kill a patient with a severe treatment for a minor disease!However,medicine advanced quite a lot in the Elizabethan Era.
Elizabethan Medicine was extremely basic in an era where terrible illnesses such as the Bubonic Plague (Black Death) were killing nearly one third of the population.The cures that were thought to rid the body of illnesses,were usually the causes for a patients death.
Leeches were believed to absorb the bad diseases out of the sick
Scalpels and sharp objects were used to make incisions in the body so the "evil" disease could escape the body
Two victims of the Black Plague lying in bed
This is an amputation being done by a surgeon
Bubonic Plague was treated by cutting the buboes open and applying a warm mixture of butter, onion and garlic.Various other remedies were tried including tobacco, arsenic,lily root and dried toad
Head pain was treated with sweet-smelling herbs such as rose,lavender, sage and bay
Stomach pains were treated with wormwood, mint,and balm
Surgery was done without anesthetics
This picture of a boy having his teeth pulled out,shows how much pain patients endured to get cured
Vinegar was poured and rubbed on wounds,for it was believed to kill disease
Bloodletting was a popular method to get rid of illnesses
Only the very wealthy would receive the attention of an Elizabethan Physician who would have received an education at one of the Universities and the College of Physicians.The usual fee would be a gold coin worth 10 shillings - well beyond the means of most Elizabethans
Inferior to Physicians,these had a similar reputation to the barbers with whom they associated and belonged to the "Company of Barber Surgeons"
The Barbers were inferior to the Surgeons,although they also belonged to the Company of Barber Surgeons.They were only allowed to pull teeth or let blood
Most people went to visit the apothecary,or dispenser of drugs.The Apothecaries belonged to the Grocer's Guild and sold sweets,cosmetics and perfumes as well as drugs
The Church provided some comfort for the poor
The ordinary Elizabethan housewife used various herbs to produce home made medicines and potions
The Elizabethan Housewife
The local "wise woman" was often the first person contacted by poor people
Avoid incisions in the breasts,sides,stomach and lungs and cut no vein that goes to the spleen.
Avoid incisions of the nerves,lesions of the sides and bones,and do not cut the back either by opening and bleeding.
Avoid opening a wound in the belly and in the internal parts.
Avoid opening wounds in the umbilicus and parts of the belly and do not open a vein in the back or do cupping.
Avoid cutting the sexual organs and the abdomen.
Avoid incisions in the thighs and fingers and do not cut blemishes and growths.
Avoid cutting the knees or the veins and sinews in these places.
Avoid cutting the knees or the veins in these places.
Avoid cutting the feet.
Avoid incisions in the neck and throat and cut no veins there.
Avoid incisions in the shoulders,arms or hands and cut no vein.
Avoid incisions in the head and face and cut no vein in the head.
The greatest anatomist of the Renaissance,Andreas Vesalius(1514-1654)was born in Brussels,Belgium. As a schoolboy,Andreas dissected mice,cats,and dogs.While studying medicine in Belgium,where human dissection was outlawed,Vesalius stole the body of a hanged criminal and then dissected it.Later,he went to study anatomy in Padua,Italy,where dissecting bodies was permitted. Vesalius became so knowledgeable on the human body that he was made Professor of Anatomy at the University of Padua at the age of 23.Andreas published his anatomical findings in "De Humani Corporis Fabrica"(Concerning the fabric of the human body).Today,Vesalius is called "The Father Of Anatomy" and his book "De Humani Corporis Fabrica" is considered one of the most important books in the history of science.
"The Father Of Anatomy"
Andreas Vesalius's De Humani Corporis Fabrica
Ambroise Paré was an innovative French surgeon who served as a royal surgeon for a number of French kings,including Henri II.Having been apprenticed to a barber,Paré joined the army in 1536,and spent much of the next 30 years as a military surgeon.He improved or invented many techniques,especially in the treatment of war wounds.Many surgeons gained experience as a result of war,and Paré was no exception.It was common practice to seal up wounds with burning oil.So one night when Ambroise ran out of oil,he made a mixture of egg yolk,rose oil,and turpentine to apply on the soldiers wounds.The next morning,he was surprised to see the soldiers with the ointment were feeling better,but the ones with oil treatment had high fever.After this,Paré refused to follow ancient practices and would cure patients with his own cures.Paré published a book on his medical discoveries in 1575 called "Les Oeuvres".Ambroise is known as "The Father Of Surgery" for his surgical endeavors and scientists believe that without his medical discoveries in "Les Oeuvres",medicine today would be much more different.
The University of Padua
Andreas Vesalius's diagram of the human nervous system
"The Father Of Surgery"
Ambroise Paré's "Les Ouvres"
The medical genius (Ambroise Paré) giving medical attention to a patient
Ambrois Paré's diagram for prosthetics