Renaissance Medicine and Medical Practices Essay
Renaissance Medicine and Medical Practices
In the beginning of the Elizabethan Era medicine was the beginning of advancements. During the Renaissance, disease was a big problem. Medicine was not as advanced as it is today, but being discovered from witchcraft and superstitions, to cures for the sick. Medicine was not advanced then so the citizens looked for cure from the “witches” and their beliefs just led them to their deaths.
Religious citizens prayed, or consumed blood from someone else as they believed to contain the soul of the deceased. “…. octors sought for explanations [for illnesses] in the stars rather than in the blood stream and preferred magical to clinical experiment. ” (Netzley 70). They believed the illness or sickness was spiritual rather than from the body. Superstitions were a big thing in this era. “Black Death” a plague that spread in Florence in 1348 was believed to be punishment from God. As medicine was being discovered the new knowledge was slowly being accepted by the citizens. Medicine discovered by the Europeans was not as accurate though.
As time passed, medicine was then based on Aristotle ideas; on four humors in the body. They are blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile; which determine the imbalance and were thought to be related to their personality. Leonardo Da Vinci had sketched accurate anatomies at which influenced medicine studies. “that his ideas were familiar to the scientific environment in which he found himself,… the likelihood is that Leonardo’s thoughts was important landmark in the development of scientific ideas,” (Walker 94). Eventually the Hippocrates studies were discovered, they had lived in B. C. era.
Their studies were used for comparison at which proved their discoveries and solutions wrong and the Hippocrates were very accurate as they had sketched the structures and their thoughts on how the human body functioned which led them to new discoveries. There were many medical practices that were believed to cure the person and in contrary some made them more sick or led them to death, Bloodletting was a popular practice done at which they would cut the patients artery on their arm or sometimes both arms, and were bled until they felt drowsy which was consider to be when the felt “better”.
This practice sometimes was done too often the patient would simply die of lack of blood supply. The medical practice of the four humors determined imbalance in patients. In order to diagnose the doctors would check patient’s pulse and urine; looking as color and smell. The remedy or are used where herbs and spices. Spices were believed to balance the humors rated on a scale from hotness, coldness and wetness. “Renaissance doctors . . . . . followed the traditional herbal medicine practiced throughout the Middle Ages” (Walker 96).
Most common used herb was the theriac for medicinal recipes, an antidote for poison. Cinnamon and pepper were two spices commonly used and were rated hottest. Surgeries were not very popular and were rarely ever done, in small towns the barbers will be the surgeon as they couldn’t afford to pay a qualified doctor. Medicine advanced through the years till today, but the Renaissance era seemed to be the discovery of new medicine that help cure the sick. Never less did they learn more about the human and animal body but discovered diseases and several cures for them.