History of Medicine

History of Medicine

History of Medicine


What is Medicine? Many define it as the science of healing; a step by step process of diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases to promote health and safety of the living organism. While many think of medicine as drugs(aderall, paracetamol etc), substances(oxycodone, Chlorhexidineetc) and medications(hydrocodoneetc) used by doctors to treat the aliments of the patients. The real definition however lies in its history; from where it actually originated and how it got to be the complex science that it is today. Let’s have a detour and find out.



Prehistoric Times

Medicine is believed to be as old as the homohabilis, the people who lived about 2.3 million years back as habitants of our planet. Most of them consisted of hunters and gatherers, thus skin wounds and cuts were quite common back then. Apart from these the experts believe that homohabilishad to face infections, osteoarthritis, micro-fractures of bones, hyper-extension and rickets due to the activities these people were involved in. Nevertheless, these people knew how to treat the aliments. Anthropologists believe that roots and herbs were used back then. Roots and herbs such as yarrow, mallow and rosemary were the most common to be used.

Ancient Egyptian Era

Even though the field of medicine had started to advance, but the direction it was going into wasn’t a laudable one. Reading and writing was discovered, the use of tools had increased and people had started to become specialized in their related fields.

Doctors started to work on medicine back in 3300 BC and had discovered that humans had a cardiac system, pulse and a heart. However, the medicine back then was a blend of religion and science. Spirits and devils played a vital role regarding the treatment of the patient. Nonetheless, the doctors were mostly familiar with the common diseases and had a treatment for most of them. This period was a vital one for the field of medicine; even basic surgery had found its way to the doctors and some of them even excelled at it.

Ancient Greek Era

With the rise of wisest minds the world has ever seen and unparalleled developments in the fields of mathematics, legislation and philosophy, medicine too had its share in the phase of development back in this time.

Hippocrates also known as the father of western medicine, and his distinguished school were the first ones to use the terms epidemic, endemic, acute, chronic and relapse; the terms that are used even in the modern day. The Greek doctors made significant discoveries and paved way for the modern day medicine.

Ancient Roman Era

Roman civilization too worked for the health of their citizens and as a result, hospitals came into being. Roman doctors were well equipped with tools for surgeries (scalpels, catheters etc) and used painkillers such as opium, which is used even nowadays to derive important medicines such as oxycodone, vicodin, methadone and hydrocodone.

Apart from the breakthroughs in theories and human anatomy, Romans did something unprecedented, opening hospitals and treating patients at large.

Medieval Islamic Era

Islamic doctors worked on the teachings of their predecessors and further developed and purified them. The contributions of Muhammad Ibn ZakariyaRazi, Ibn al Haytam and Ibn Sina in this era for medicine are surely unequaled. Muslims unlike the Romans, were against opium and preferred to use poppy as its substitute. Other substances such as fennel, garlic and willow were also being used to treat a variety of diseases.

Medieval European and Renaissance Era

Along with the Muslims, the European started practicing their own medicine during the medieval. Mandrake roots, gall of boar and hemlock were the natural substances being used back then along with opium.

However, during the Renaissance era, the advancements seem to be a bit more prominent. There were significant improvements in the surgery procedure. Diagnosing and treatment of the patients had improved substantively as well.

20th Century

Medicine started to grow and develop in the real sense in the 20th century. Prominent breakthroughs had taken place in every walk of life. War was common, thus health and safety had become utmost important for every country in the planet. Many new aliments as well as their vaccines had been discovered. Chemotherapy, complex surgeries and many apparatuses had been discovered during this time.

The Modern Medince

Not only the medicine of today is far advanced from what our ancestors started, but is also available quite easily. The need of going to a hospital has been eradicated as one can be observed via video chat from a professional or there is no need to go to a pharmacy as now there are several online pharmacy stores that deliver the medicine to your doorstep. For instance, one can buy any medicine for instance buy Ritalin or buy oxycodone online and getting them delivered to one`s doorstep.

All in all, as it can be observed, the growth in the field of medicine is perpetual and from where we are standing today, there is still a long way to go before every aliment in this world is entirely curable.

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