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14 Facts about Medicine in Ancient Egypt

Discussion in 'Medical Students Cafe' started by Jermeen Wadie, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Jermeen Wadie

    Jermeen Wadie Young Member

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    The ancient civilization of Egypt had achievements in several fields as arts, architecture, science, astronomy, engineering, pharmacy and medicine. Ancient Egyptians were interested in medicine and their progress was clear which was found in the form of medical papyri. The ancient Egyptians have beliefs gods and spirits are the causes of the disease which affects the way the body works. They tried to unblock these channels with natural remedies and prayers to heal the body.

    Here are some facts to know about the Ebers Papyrus and the information found in it:

    1- The oldest and most important Ebers papyrus was dating back to 1550 BC which includes lots of information about several diseases, medical prescriptions, medicinal herbs and magic spells.
    2- This papyrus was purchased by George Mortiz Ebers in 1873 – 1874 AC and it is maintained at the Library of the University of Leipzig in Germany.
    3- It was proved in the Ebers papyrus that the Heart is the center of the blood body's supply and every corner of the body is attached with vessels.
    4- In 2014, Researchers described the ancient Egyptians were surprisingly sophisticated in understanding the cardiovascular system.
    5- The ancient Egyptians have seen that Mental disorders such as depression and dementia as a combination of blocked channels caused by evil spirits and angry Gods.
    6- It was proved that green kohl (malachite) was used to treat certain eye diseases.
    7- Egyptians also found some natural remedies suitable for Dentistry issues:
    a- Cumin and onion to treat swollen gums.
    b- Opium to treat dental pain.
    8- In surgery, they used a bandage with certain plant products such as willow leaves to treat inflammation.
    9- They successfully know how to fix broken legs and dislocated joints.
    10- They didn't perform deep surgery as the anesthetics and antiseptics were not discovered during this period.
    11- Onion was inserted in the woman's vagina to test fertility if the scent of the onion was found in her breath so she is fertile.
    12- Barley was mainly used for the pregnancy test in urine if the barley flourished then the woman is pregnant.
    13- The sex of the baby is determined using emmer and barley using the same way of the pregnancy test. If the emmer seeds sprouted first so the baby is female, and if the barley responded first so the baby is male.
    14- The plug of the crocodile was considered as a method of female contraception which is inserted in the woman's vagina to avoid pregnancy.
    15- Beer and wine were prescribed for children and nursing mother, It was advised for mothers to drink a cup of beer with a mix of grass seeds and Cyprus grass for four days while breastfeeding the child.

    Other remedies could be useful for several treatments as:
    - Burns and skin diseases: Aloe vera.
    - Asthma: Honey and milk.
    - Digestive problems: Mint and Garlic.
    -Epilepsy: Camphor.

    However, the ancient Egyptians believed that gods and evil spirits are the reasons of diseases; the architect Imhotep at Saqqara's pyramid had written medical treatises that diseases are not necessarily a punishment from God or evil spirits.

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