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Apothecaries and the Four Humors of the Elizabethan Era

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Amisa Jiwani

on 23 October 2014

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Transcript of Apothecaries and the Four Humors of the Elizabethan Era

What are the Four Humours?
Aristotle and Hippocrates
Hippocrates believed that there was gender based on qualities.
Women: cold and wet
Men: hot and dry

Two Qualities for Each Element
Each element of the Four Humours has two qualities.
Water: cold and wet
Fire: hot and dry
Air: wet and hot
Earth: dry and cold

Apothecaries and the Four Humours of the Elizabethan Era
"The four bodily humors were part of Shakespearean cosmology, inherited from the ancient Greek philosophers Aristotle, Hippocrates, and Galen"(U.S. National Library of Medicine). They consists of the four elements of earth, water, fire, and air. The Four Humours also include the four elements of cold, wet, hot, and dry.
Aristotle was the one who analyzed the elements and gave them qualities.
Blood, Black Bile, Yellow Bile, Phlegm
The human body is also related to the four humours.
Blood: Air
Black Bile: Earth
Yellow Bile: Fire
Phlegm: Water
These four humours determine our moods.
The most important part of the Elizabethan Era in the medical field were the Apothecaries and the Four Humours.
Apothecaries are the Elizabethan Era's equivalent to today's pharmacy. "In 1605, apothecaries, and others who treated illness, followed beliefs which had been held for over a thousand years about what caused illnesses and other complaints"(1605 Living History).

When were chemical medicines introduced?
Chemical medicines were introduced in the 16th century. They included poisons such as arsenic
Herbal Cures
Herbal cures were used for many purposes during this time period, and they are still used today for these purposes.
Comfrey: throat
Lavender: falling sickness
Lettuce: insomnia and gonorrhea
Periwinkle: stanches the blood flowing from a wound
Saffron: cures stomach problems and strengthens the heart
Sassafras: cures the pox
In conclusion, apothecaries and the Four Humours were the most important part of the medical field then and now because these discoveries and inventions have lead to so many advances today.
By: Amisa Jiwani
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