Ancient Egyptian Medicine: Medicine has a long and distinguished history, and it is constantly evolving today. Medicine has been used to treat diseases and injuries since the dawn of time. If you got sick or injured in ancient times, Egypt would have been the ideal location to go. Moreover, Egyptians’ chances of survival were significantly better than those of their foreign counterparts, and they had the advantage of being treated by an Egyptian physician whose work was displayed throughout the ancient world and had a significant impact.
Why Egypt? Egypt had two main advantages over other locations. First, it had the largest number of known pharaohs, and that number was approximately 632. Every pharaoh was represented by an embalmed corpse that was displayed in a mausoleum. The embalmed corpses of these pharaohs had roles in Egyptian religion that mirrored aspects of the deity they were worshipped. The Pharaohs’ life, afterlife, and relations with their god were depicted through what was known as amulets. It was believed that the embalmed bodies and associated possessions gave the relics powerful protective powers. Furthermore, ancient Egyptians didn’t need an arsenal of modern-day drugs and pharmaceuticals to treat their illness.
Diseases and injuries
In ancient Egypt, there was no national health care. The primary physicians of the ancient Egyptians were not employed by the government but instead were almost always local, though they were often tasked with providing treatment to prisoners of war and even criminals. Nevertheless, the presence of two main deities was a huge deterrent to people going to the local pharmacist for drugs: the Greek goddess of health and healing, Artemis, and the god of youth, Osiris. Both gods were worshipped by the Egyptian masses and were highly revered. Yet they were hated by the majority of doctors who believed the powers attributed to them were delusions of the mind and not actual, tangible substances.
Ancient Egyptian Medicine
Many parts of ancient Egyptian medical knowledge, however, are shrouded in mystery, with little known about their true origins and purposes. Even less is known about how the ancient Egyptians believed they worked. The cure, the best remedy, and the medicine of the ancients were mysterious, well-articulated, and rooted in magical thinking. Even among those who knew the medicines very well, they found them to be mysterious and difficult to comprehend. Many different sources are responsible for the origins of Ancient Egyptian medicine. Some are purely speculative, and there is little solid evidence to back them up. The Egyptians themselves admitted that they had little control over what their medicine produced.
The benefits of ancient medicine
Ancient Egyptian medicine has many benefits, and some of them include a lower risk of cancer, improved cognitive function and memory, and less pain. Ancient Egyptian medicine is also beneficial for patients with neurological disorders as well as many other conditions. On the other hand, there are some drawbacks to ancient Egyptian medicine. For one, it did not take into account the side effects of a certain medicine on a certain patient. For example, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and Rome, may have suffered from skin tumours and liver problems. However, she probably did not suffer from kidney problems. It was not a good idea to treat Cleopatra like any other Egyptian patient, but her doctors did.
The Dangers of Ancient Egyptian Medicine
However, Egypt’s position as a colonial power also led to the deaths of many of its citizens. Most modern western medicine refers to this as a “sacred cause of death.” This refers to the time when ancient physicians came up with medications to help their patients recover from severe illness or injury. While they may have treated their patients well, there were side effects and this would lead to the death of some patients. For example, physicians who prescribed wheat had the unintentional side effect of causing severe allergic reactions, and a hundred and thirty years ago, prescribing an opium-based treatment for an illness would result in the patient’s heart-stopping.