Ancient Greek Medicine Healing

The establishment of modern medicine is to be found in the medicine of the ancient Greeks. There were great doctors who made scientific observations and practiced medicine. Surgery was made successfully and herbs were applied. There were even medical specialists including gynecologists who specialized in childbirth and diseases of women.

The first doctors in the contemporary sense appeared in Ancient Greece. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates was born on the Aegean island of Cos. He was actually the son of a physician, and his early years were spent at the local Asklepion, a famous sanctuary of healing, to which came numerous invalids and tourists. Hippocrates went previously to Athens in 430 BCE at the invitation of the Athenians to help combat the plague there. Similar asklepieia were situated throughout the Greece.

In the Odyssey it is the following about drugs that, presently she cast a drug into the wine whereof they drank, a drug to lull all pain and anger, and bring forgetfulness of every sorrow. When it is mingled in the bowl, whoso should drink a draught thereof on that day he would let no tear fall down his cheeks, not though his mother and his father died, not though men slew his brother or dear son with the sword before his face, and his own eyes beheld it. Medicines of such good worth and so helpful had the daughter of Zeus, which Polydamna, the wife of Thon, had given her, a woman of Egypt, where earth the grain-giver yields herbs in greatest plenty, many that are healing in the cup, and many baneful. There each and every man is a leech skilled beyond all human kind; yea, for they are of the race of Paeeon. In early ancient Greece, the art of medicine and healing was based on the religious beliefs and rituals. There are also, however, historical evidences that show ancient Greeks were curious to know the cause of a disease and how it could be cured. They, the ancient Greek people followed a method of using scientific observation to figure out the causes of a disease.

Ancient Greek people developed a logical system to analyze and heal a disease. It was basically based on four humors or substance of the human body. The four humors were yellow bile, black bile, blood and phlegm. The ancient Greek people believed if the four humors were balanced the person is healthy and any unbalance would cause health problems. Another point worth mentioning are ancient Greek doctors believed that reducing the amount of blood would help to bring down the body temperature. The Greek doctors used to create a small cut on the arm of a patient or put leeches on the arm to drain blood. For this reason the ancient Greek physicians were often called "leeches".

The great Greek philosopher, Hippocrates, is thus known as the father of modern medicine. He along with the other great Greek scholars identified that diseases were not caused by a curse or magic but due to the imbalance of the body humors. In the early 5th century BC, ancient Greek medical schools were established at Cnidus and Kos. Historical evidences and on going researches reveal these medical schools flourished well. The students and practitioners of these medical schools vowed "Corpus Hippocraticum", the oath written by Hippocrates. One of the contributors to ancient Greek medicine was Aristotle. He successfully made a comparative study of the anatomy of both animals and human beings.