Posts Tagged With: medical treatment

History of sickness and medical art 31: China 6


病と医術の歴史 31: 中国 6        




< 1. Bronze ware of Yin dynasty, the 14-11th century B.C. >

< 1. 殷の青銅器、紀元前14~11世紀 >


This time, I introduce a summary of Chinese medical art, and end it.




< 2. “Dishes of Chinese food therapy”was stewed medicines in soup >

< 2. 薬材を煮込んだ薬膳料理、 >


The megatrend (mainly till the 1st century)

In ancient China, the medical art of empirical science gradually developed from medical art being mainly magic.

As for the recognition to physiology, there was an emphasis on heart and a body fluid theory same as other ancient civilization.

There were several phases of outstanding changes in medical art till the 1st century.

Doctors divided their treatments among medicine men in Imperial Court.

There was the activity of doctors who went around each country intended for common people also.

Some important medical books were published.

The etiology had a concept being close to human body at around the 1st century B.C., but after that, it united with a theory of mind by religion (Taoism) and it didn’t develop.

However, because they attached importance to the practice, Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Chinese herb were developed











< 3. pulse diagnosis >

< 3.脈診 >


The characteristic of Chinese medical art, and the background

A: they did not identify a cause of the disease and decided the treatment policy by combination of plural symptoms.

B: they attached importance to disease prevention by raising natural healing capacity than treating the disease from outside.

C: in the disease diagnosis, the pulse diagnosis was developed especially.


In China, why didn’t the surgery develop? And why did the etiology greatly depend on the theory of mind?


Many religions of the world disliked the profanity of the body, and Confucianism prohibited the dissection like Christianity and Islam.

Therefore it is weak as a persuasive power that Chinese surgery didn’t develop by the prohibition of the religion.

Looking around the world, because pastoral tribe did not have resistance to the dissection than agricultural people, this may be a cause of it.


Another characteristic will originate in a reason that is pointed out in certain culture psychology.

People of the East Asia have a strong tendency that ” can see forest but don’t look at tree ” as compared with Westerner.

This seems to have led Chinese etiology that didn’t identify one cause and saw the whole symptom.

This will become to the characteristic A.



A: 一つの病因を特定するのではなく、複数の症状の組合せ「証」によって治療方針を決めた。

B: 病気を外部から治療するよりも、自然治癒力を高めることと病気予防を重視した。

C: 病気診断では、四診(観察、聴・嗅診、質問、脈診)の脈診が発達した。















< 4. a symbol showing “Yin and Yang” and a temple of Taoism >

< 4. 陰陽を表す図と道教の寺院 >


In China, Yin and Yang philosophy (space or body unify and change by two opposed elements) began to be unified at about the 3rd century B.C.

And Confucianism and Taoism of two major religion of China theorized it.

Taoism greatly was developed during Tang Dynasties, and the prescription of perpetual youth and longevity was expected, but failed in Chinese alchemy (mercury poisoning).

The Buddhism being ascendant in those days had a systematized theory of mind (people’s understanding brings solace), and Taoism enhanced Yin and Yang philosophy to counter it, and it seems to be involved in medical art.

This will become to the characteristic B.


Still probably, the biggest factor was that China was on the Eurasian edge, and was shut from other advanced civilization with the large desert, the mountain range, and the sea for a long time, therefore it seems to cause.


From the next time, I see the medical art of the ancient Greece.















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History of sickness and medical art 30 : China 5

病と医術の歴史 30: 中国 5



 < 1.   Soldiers of Sanguo Shidai of China >

< 1. 中国、三国時代の軍人 >


This time, I introduce medicament, cure, and Chinese alchemy.




“Shennong Ben Cao Jing” is fatherless, the oldest book about materia medica, and was compiled during Later Han and Sanguo Shidai( the 2nd –3rd century).

This book sums up the knowledge and the treatment of the medicament from Zhanguo ( the 4th century B.C.).


薬 剤






< 2. “Shennong Ben Cao Jing” >

< 2. 神農本草経 >




< 3. Ephedra >

< 3. 麻黄 >


In the book, there are 365 kinds of medicament, it is categorized as 252 plants, 67 animals, and 46 minerals, and majority of the efficacy is obvious.

For example, ephedra is antidiarrheal, seaweed is used to treatment of lump, glycyrrhiza is alexipharmic, and rheum is a laxative.  

The medicament is categorized into 3 groups.

It consist of 120 kinds of medicament having harmless but weak effect for recuperation, 120 kinds of medicament having harmless and effect for recuperation and treatment, and the rest is such as medicament for destroying tumors in the stomach but being harmful.

And it mentions the production area of medicament, the collection season, the processing process, the most suitable type (pill, powder, and it saturated in alcohol), the taking time, and the taking method.


Books about materia medica after the 3rd century were based on this “Shennong Ben Cao Jing”.

In plant medicament, it is well known as a certain kinds of hydrangea is suitable for malaria, ginseng is suitable for recovery of energy, and tetradium ruticarpum is suitable for ascariciding.

Some of the medicaments were from Egypt and India, and Southeast Asia.













The regimen was important means of tonicity, the prevention of disease, and prevent aging.

Many thinkers and medical scientists preached the regimen, and there were two points of view: “Let’s cultivate life with motion” or “Let’s cultivate life with stillness”

” Hundred Schools of Thought” insisted that we have to be according to nature, and do the care of health about eating and drinking, and have the harmony of mind.

Tua Tuo created the exercises borrowing from five animal postures in Qigong。

“ Curing before becoming sickness” had been written in certain medical book.


養 生










< 4. Chinese alchemy? >

< 4. 錬丹術? >





< 5. Cinnabar > 

< 5.丹砂 >


Chinese alchemy and immortality

On the other hand, “Shennong Ben Cao Jing” included the knowledge of Taoism (thought of immortal), and showed the early state of Chinese alchemy.

In this book, it was written that mercury already had effect on the treatment of scabies and the insecticide of louse.

Chinese alchemy is to made the medicament for immortality by means of mixing and producing chemically change to metals such as mercury sulfide (cinnabar), gold or leaden.

A certain book of Taoism in the 4th century was the first important book about Chinese alchemy, and the chemical knowledge became abundance.

Chinese associated the elixir of immortality with remarkable changing of mercury from red ore of mercury sulfide (fig. 5) and the non-corrosive attribute of gold.

In ancient China, the people attached importance to living in this mortal world than afterworld.

Therefore, the First Qin Emperor had searched the medicament for immortality, in best days, kings of Tang (the 7-9th century) drank the medicament for immortality made by Chinese alchemy, and the many kings died by poisoning.

Before long, Taoism came to cultivate the immortality not by medicament of immortality but by Qi (spirit) of his body.

On the other hand, the abundant knowledge by Chinese alchemy developed the chemistry and the metallurgy, and then the world’s first gunpowder was made in China in the ninth century.















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History of sickness and medical art 29 : China 4

病と医術の歴史 29: 中国 4



< 1. Acupuncture >

< 1. 針治療 >


I reopen this serialization after a long absence.

It carries on from “ History of sickness and medical art 26,27,28:China 1,2,3 “



「病と医術の歴史 26,27,28: 中国 1,2,3 」の続きです。

2,亀甲, Tortoiseshell 

< 2. Tortoiseshell >

< 2. 亀甲 >



Medicine man ascertained the cause of sickness by the fortune-telling using a tortoiseshell, and used three kinds of treatment measure.

  1. The physical measure being friction, fumigation and Acupuncture Moxibustion, etc.
  2. The measure transferring a demon of the disease cause to other.
  3. The measure by incantation, or talisman, etc.

Clause 1 involves the administration of a medicine, and it also is an aim that an internal demon runs away because of pain of the drug.

Clause 2 used the dolls being made of grass.




治 療


  1. 一. 摩擦・燻蒸・鍼灸(針灸)などの物理的なもの。
  2. 二. 病気原因の悪霊を他の物体に乗り換えさせるもの。
  3. 三. 呪文・護符などによるもの。




3,藁人形, Doll of straw

< 3. Doll of straw used for a curse in Japan >

< 3. 日本で呪詛のために使われた藁人形 >


When empirical science advanced in medical art, for the diagnosis, there was observation, observation with stethoscope, interview, pulse diagnosis, and palpation was adopted in some cases.

After, the pulse diagnosis was regarded as important, it was done in three places, and it was said that it was able to catch hundreds of characteristics.

Treatment measure was five methods of psychotherapy, dietary cure, drug therapy, whole body therapy, Acupuncture Moxibustion therapy.

Dental therapy was limited to being coated with medicines or drinking.

In the 2nd century B.C., a doctor left the first medical record.

Tua Tuo is a doctor who played an active part in the private sector in the 2nd century A.D. and he did open surgery with using anesthetic.

The anatomy did not develop, because Confucius forbade the profanity of the body.











4,華佗, Tua Tuo is a surgeon

< 4. Tua Tuo is a surgeon >

< 4.外科医、華陀 >


5経路図, Human body meridians

< 5. “Human body meridians” shows the points that are stabbed with needle >

< 5.経路図は針を刺す位置を示している >



The history of peculiar Acupuncture of China is old, and acute bone for Acupuncture was excavated from remains of 5th millennium B.C.

At first, man broke a pustule with the sharp part of a stone, and emptied pus and blood.

From this treatment reducing swelling, the Acupuncture was developed.

Moxibustion seems to have been developed from the accidental healing experience of burn injury.






The purpose of this therapy is to discharge surplus yin and yang, it is to bring appropriate balance, and then it is said that can flow the outside energy into the body.

In Acupuncture therapy, the curer pricks the skin with a long needle till the constant depth at a certain place.

The curer pricks 365 energy centers along the meridians running on the surface of the body with the needle.

Human body meridians cover the body surface, and have a function to carry active vitality called “ Qi”.

For example, pricking a certain point of the earlobe with a needle treats an abdominal disease.

This therapy is said to be good for every sickness, debilitation, symptom, and, after it came to be used for anesthesia, too.










Moxibustion therapy is a cure to make a blister, by putting moxa (dried leaves of wormwood) on the skin small at energy centers same as the Acupuncture therapy and burning it.

Acupuncture Moxibustion therapy developed, but the development of the surgery is late, and drug treatment drinking as a decoction became central part of medical art.





6太極拳,Tai chi chuan

< 5. Tai chi chuan is performed in the morning in Chinese park >

< 5. 太極拳は中国の公園で早朝よく行われている >


In the Christian Era, Anma( Japanese massage) and Tai chi chuan later were born.

In the 11th century, Chinese medical art succeeded in immunity of the smallpox along with India.

It is to pour the dried powder made of a crust of the smallpox into a nostril with using a thin pipe.








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History of sickness and medical art 27: China 2

Medical treatment scene of doctor Bian que

< 1. Medical treatment scene of doctor Bian que >


This time, I look at the change of medicine through the activity of the doctor.



.  Capital's remain of Yin dynasty 

< 2. Capital’s remain of Yin dynasty >



In the entire world, the medical treatment by fortune telling or prayer was in the mainstream in ancient times.

Similarly, medicine man (witch doctor) was most valued in the royal palace of Yin that occurred in the 16th century B.C.

However, a portent of experience medicine was seen also in Yin dynasty, and, in Western Zhou Dynasty in the 8th-11th century B.C., the tendency further was progressing more.


医 師




.  Duke of Zhou is a Prime Minster of Yin dynasty and seemed to have written ”Rites of Zhou”

< 3. Duke of Zhou is a Prime Minster of Yin dynasty and seemed to have written ”Rites of Zhou” >


According to ”Rites of Zhou” in which the administrative organization of Western Zhou Dynasty is described, there was a medical special department that separated from magic and religion.

It included the disease prevention, the treatment, the management about medicine and medical appliances, and the accountancy.

The ranking of medical person was indicated in that order: the doctor (he collected medicine and superintended inferior doctors), food doctor (he prescribed food and drink), internist, surgeon, and veterinarian.

The doctor had been classified by the results and was obliged to report his failure or his success as the judgment data.

In the middle of next chun qiu Zhan guo shi dai (end of the 8th-3rd century B.C.), the change appeared furthermore.

As we had looked a famous physician of the King of Qin last time, doctors like Bian Que (the 5th century B.C.) came to play an active part among many thinkers (Hundred Schools of Thought) that went around feudal lords of each country.








a relief engraving(hua xiang shi) in the 2nd century A.D. showed Bian Que carrying out acupuncture. 

< 4. a relief engraving(hua xiang shi) in the 2nd century A.D. showed Bian Que carrying out acupuncture. >


The bird expresses the doctor, and his name means the magpie of a wise bird.

He visited main five countries of those days.

He was skillful at pulse diagnosis and also was excellent in internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, five senses (eye, ear, nose, mouth, and tongue), acupuncture and moxibustion.

He was dealt with in “Records of the Grand Historian”, and it was written that he cured the diseases of from feudal lords till common people of each country.

In his words, there was “there are six cureless sickness”, and one of that was ” a person believes pythoness and does not believe medical art.”

This shows a firm belief in medical art of those days, and it shares similarity with Hippocrates of Greece of the same period.

However, the experience medicine did not replace magic medicine.

In the preceding paragraph story of the famous physician of the King of Qin last time, the King was divined by pythoness as “King was cursed as that king had killed two men by his hand, therefore he must die.”










“Shennong Ben Cao Jing” is a Chinese book on agriculture and medicinal plants

< 5.  “Shennong Ben Cao Jing” is a Chinese book on agriculture and medicinal plants >



The sick classification was hardly based on cause of disease, but was based on “proof” of the condition or pulse diagnosis.

Therefore, the ancient name of disease is uncertain.

As for the oldest specialized book ofmateria medica, there is “Shennong Ben Cao Jing”(the 1st century B.C.).

The disease names being written in this book covered 170 different types including jaundice, malignant tumor, cold, etc.

And it explained each disease of internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, and dentistry.









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History of sickness and medical art 26: China 1

Bronze ware

< 1. Bronze ware, the 6th century B.C. >


I look at the medical art of China in the first millennium B.C.

This time, I survey Chinese medical art of those days.





 Terracotta Army in Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

< 2. Terracotta Army in Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, the 3rd century B.C. >


The Chinese civilization began from a large number of city-states that was born in the Yellow River middle region.

The oldest dynasty is “Xia” in about 2070 B.C.

In the wake of the large conflict of “ Chun qiu Zhan guo shi dai”(770B.C.~221B.C.), Qin Dynasty accomplished first unification, then Han Dynasty (202B.C.~220A.D.) took it.

From these days, China was the supreme ruler of East Asia and was the most advanced civilized country.








Chinese drama "Confucius"

< 3. Chinese drama “Confucius” >


For us, China was a great teacher and a cultural superpower that had abundant classics.

Although the birth of a character would be in about the 16th century B.C., it became popular for writing to a strip of wood card and a silk cloth.

The contents became various from about the 8th century, and it were written about a myth, poetry, the history, accounts of war, the thought, and the medical art.

Such as Confucius, the thinker’s birth that began from about the 6th century B.C. became a landmark event of culture.








Chinese medicine drugstore street

< 4. Chinese medicine drugstore street in Guangzhou >


The old medical art of China is called Chinese medicine and is contributing by the drug and health management method still today.

It includes Chinese herb, massage, and a food therapy meaning that foods are medicines.

And especially acupuncture, moxa cautery, and a therapy by life energy are peculiar.

The medical art of China was tied to much God and black art in the first stage in common with other civilization.








< 5. Inscriptions on bones and tortoise carapaces, the 13 –11th century B.C. >

I introduce two stories.

“ Policymaker uses the doctor who performs fortune-telling by a tortoise shell and bamboo sticks.” (the 2nd century B.C.- the 2nd A.D.)


“ This sickness cannot get cured. The moxa cautery does not work because that it is located at the lower side of your heart and upper side of your diaphragm. And the acupuncture does not reach it. Medicines also do not work additionally.” (About the 4th century B.C. time)  


The former shows that they depended on treatment of witch doctor performing a fortune-telling and a prayer.

The latter shows that famous physician in ordinary to King of Qin was invited to Jin, and he diagnosed the King of Jin.

In those times, there was a doctor who won fame by medicine.

He had known three kinds of cures and diagnosed for medical problem.


I look at how the empirical science-like medical art including the magical factor has changed, from the first millennium B.C. to the 3rd century A.D.

















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History of sickness and medical art 25: India 5


< 1. Yoga >


This time, I introduce Yoga and summarize the medical art of ancient India, end it.




Yoga is known as a thing increasing health enhancement now.

On the other hand, deity statue performing Zen (meditation) around the world will be only Buddha statue.

Long history is concerned with this.







a seal of Indus civilization: a Yoga ascetic sits while wearing a crown of horn 

< 2. a seal of Indus civilization: a Yoga ascetic sits while wearing a crown of horn >


The oldest image that is sitting is in the seal of Indus civilization.

The oldest description about Yoga was in an Upanishad of about the fourth century B.C.

Following sentence teaches an ascetic training of Yoga.

“Recognize Atman of an absolute hiding in depth of our existence by introspectiveness”

In India, it was idealized that people had been absorbed quietly in meditation under forest tree from time immemorial (ashrama).

Caraka sanhita that became medical knowledge of Buddha makes reference to yoga a lot.









 Bhagavad Gita is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, and a sacred text of the Hindus. 

< 3. Bhagavad Gita is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, and a sacred text of the Hindus. >


Yoga developed in the first millennium B.C. as the religious self-training method (enlightenment or nirvana) or moral culture, and Buddhism took in it.

The system of the Yoga was completed at about the fourth century, and at about the twelfth century, mystical yoga was born and adopted physical movement.

This spreads now all over the world.






Alexander the Great : a scene of the movie  

< 4. Alexander the Great : a scene of the movie  >


Ancient medical system of India advanced

Emperor Ashoka built hospital for people in the third century B.C.

In Europe, similar thing is built in the fourth century.

When a Greek doctor was not able to cure a soldier who was bitten by a snake, Alexander the Great commanded Indian doctor to cure him.

The medical treatment was successful, and Alexander the Great who was impressed with it employed Indian doctors in his army.



The characteristic of the medical art in India seemed to attach importance to more the cure for a patient than the etiology.

New doctors escaped from religious bondage, and participated actively in the cure.

As seen in Yoga, there was an Indian culture that attached importance to the cultivation of mind, and this affected religion, medical art, and health care.


From next time, I introduce ancient medical art of China.


















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History of sickness and medical art 23: India 3

Caraka was a famous ancient doctor 

< 1.  Caraka was a famous ancient doctor >

I look at the activity of doctors and the medical groups.



Two red points show Taxila and Varanasi

< 2.  Two red points show Taxila and Varanasi >

 Appearance of the doctor

Ayurveda includes two major medical books of Caraka samhita and Susruta samhita.

This title originates in each doctor’s name.

Caraka was a court physician of Kanishka King of the 2nd century B.C.

Susruta was a surgeon of several centuries B.C.

These medical books came into existence after the 3rd century A.D., but the schools of medical thought that brought about those had been born around the 6th century B.C.

The school of medical thought of Caraca was active in Taxila of Pakistan(Gandhara), and it of Susruta was active in Varanasi(a holy place of Hinduism and Buddhism).

The former adopted the medical treatment and the latter had also adopted surgery treatment.









Orthopedic surgery of a nose

< 3. Orthopedic surgery of a nose   >

A world’s first orthopedic surgical operation was in ancient India.


It is orthopedic surgery of ear and nose, which was explained in detail by Susruta samhita.

In the upper class of Hindu society, they had a custom of making a hole in their earlobe and also outspreading it.

Moreover, as there was punishment that sliced off a nose, the recovery surgery was required.

The epoch-making method of this surgery was slicing off a skin of patient’s jaw or the forehead, and transplanting to the patient’s affected part.

Probably, it was carried out in several centuries B.C.

This operation becomes about 1500 years earlier than Europe.

The Indian orthopedic surgery and surgical instrument advanced very much.

However, the anatomy seems to have not advanced, because the dissection was prohibited by Manusmriti (Indian ancient social norm).













< 4.  marma >

In India, there also is marma of body points resembling acupuncture points of China.

However, marma was not connected directly with organ and nerve, and the moxibustion or acupuncture was not provided.




The status of doctor

Early time, the doctors were only Brahman, later were able to be even from the low-ranking hierarchy.

If even a low hierarchy person became doctor, he was ranked the high rank, and tax was exempted from him.

The doctor at Imperial Court had achieved successful career, and he was able to become the important person of the country like Caraka.

The criminal punishments with unsuitable medical treatment by the doctor have been written in Manusmriti.

The cost of treatment was no charge for Brahman and poor, and others were charged according to the economic conditions.

Those who want to become doctor became pupil of teacher, recited Ayurveda, learned the treatment of medicinal herb, received training of the action method, etc.

The pupil had been recognized by the teacher, subsequently had the authorization of king, and became the full-fledged doctor.















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History of sickness and medical art 22: India 2

God of India

< 1. God of India >

We look at the medical art of ancient India from this time.



This was established in about 1000 years B.C., was a sacred book for the private sectors, and had a relationship with medical treatment most.

This excluded disaster by magic, prayed for beatification, and aimed for medical treatment, love, victory, good luck, and expiation.

The object of disease treatment was diarrhea, heart disease, skin disease, tumor, fracture, intestinal worm, and poison of snake, and eye disease etc.

And it also included energy reinforcement and long life.

For example, the treatments were that a patient caught the hand of a magician, and made an incantation.

The treatment of fever was to transmit it to a woman of Sudra (slave), and the treatment of headache and coughs was to transmit it to the trees of hill and forest

For constipation, the patient was made to drink the soil of a rat hole along with singing a devotional song.











The spice of curry was based on Ayurveda 

< 2. The spice of curry was based on Ayurveda >


Birth of Ayurveda

In the early stages, Brahmin (flamen) doubled also as doctor, and mainly treated sickness by means of using magic.

Before long, the experience and the knowledge about sickness or medicinal herb had been accumulated, and two medical schools that specialized in the internal medicine and the surgery treatment appeared in the 6th century.

These had been integrated into a system of Ayurveda (knowledge of the life) during several centuries A.D., and moreover it adopted yoga and developed.








16 major nations: The first city-states were born.

< 3. 16 major nations: The first city-states were born.  >

When it came at the 7th century B.C., rice cropping and trade became popular in Ganges basin, and many city-states were born.

This pushed the society toward the birth of freethinker, Sakyamuni, and medical school.





Change of the medical treatment

According to typical etiology of Ayurveda, the sickness was that the equilibrium among yellow bile, viscous liquid, winds, and blood collapsed.

In order to regain this equilibrium, patients must eat and drink sweet, acid, bitter, salt, and astringent depending on his condition.

For example, it is said that the acid is effective in the increase of digestion or mental function.

There are many medicines to treat, and they consist of minerals, animals, and 1000 or more kinds of medical herbs, and the purpose and the usage are classified.

Some medicines were the Egypt origin and the curative medicines of skin disease reached 100 kinds.

There were many medicines with clear effect and they used opium, ginger, cinnamon, wolfsbane, castor oil, alum, mercury, etc.

The mainstream of medical treatment was emetic method, enemas, nasal drops method, and phlebotomy method (bloods are drained).












.  a relief engraving of a tooth extraction  

< 4.  a relief engraving of a tooth extraction  >

The name of diseases of internal medicine exceeds 300 kinds, and hiccups, the illness of head, and insanity are also included.

There were surgical operations of anal fistula, fracture, tooth extraction, renal calculus, cataract, and nose job, etc. 

The doctor did auscultation of patient, observed the state of his skin or his tongue, and judged diabetes with tasting his urine.


In this way, the conversion to medical art of empirical science from it of only past magic happened.










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History of sickness and medical art 11 : Ancient Egypt 1

Surgical instrument of ancient Egypt

< Surgical instrument of ancient Egypt >


I introduce sickness and medical art of ancient Egypt.    





< Imhotep >

He was a higher flamen, the first-ever pyramid designer, and a superior physician. He was deified behind. 





Step Pyramid in Sakkara, Cairo 

< Step Pyramid in Sakkara, Cairo >

King Djoser’s Step Pyramid which he designed in the middle of the 27th century BC. 





The medical art of Egypt developed highly by the religious dynasty that continued for 3000 years.

The mural painting of the sepulcher, the papyrus, and tens of thousands of mummies clarify a situation of those days.

The oldest papyrus document of medical art was of the 20th century BC.

In the order from the old thing, they were written about obstetrics and gynecology, animal medicine, surgery, the prescription collection, and the magic.

The documents had included description that will go back to 4000 years BC.

The documents had included strong things of magical factor and religious factor, but there was the thing which was not so.


Herodotus had written about Egypt of the 5th century BC.

” Medicine is subdivided very much and the doctor treats only the illness of one kind, respectively. Many doctors are everywhere. There is the doctor of the eyes, the head, the belly, or the tooth, and there also is specialized doctor in case patient can’t tell a wrong part. …”














The doctor was employed by the nation.

There were the doctor belonging to the flamen, the ordinary doctor, the doctor chief, the doctor’s management supervisor, the Minister of Health, and the doctor of many levels of king’s palace.

The doctor was specialized highly, and was divided into the general, the ophthalmology, the digestive organ, the anus, the illness of uncertain cause, the dentistry, the medical test, and the occupational disease.

The medical care was free for campaigner and journeyer, but at times the doctor had gotten many rewards.

The doctor studied in the house of the life that attached to some shrines, and heard the experience of the aged, and learned the old documentaries of library.

The knowledge of dissection was based on livestock and the old literature, but was not based on making mummy.

In the medical examination, the doctor investigated carefully a patient’s appearance, the body odor, the conscious, etc., and recorded them.

Furthermore, the doctor measured bodily temperature and heart race, and performed percussion, and observed urine, defecation, phlegm.

Finally, the doctor evaluated the possibility of medical treatment to three steps, and notified of it in writing.





医 師











A old papyrus document

< A old papyrus document >

A description of bronchial asthma in the 17th century BC 




When treating according to the sacred medicine document, the doctor was not penalized even if he failed, but when acting contrary to the prescription, he was condemned to the death penalty.

There were the surgery assistant, the masseur, and the male nurse helping the doctor.


Next time, I write about treatment and drug.








Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, science, Series: History of sickness and medical art | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

History of sickness and medical art 8 : modern humans, the oldest medical art


< trepanation >

This time, I investigate vestiges of oldest medical art of our modern humans.

It shows a positive will to medical treatment, and a spirit of bold challenge.




Code of Hammurabi 

< Code of Hammurabi >

The oldest proof that shows the existence of a doctor and a medicine document was in Middle and Near East.

The Code of Hammurabi of the 18th century B.C. is a collection of laws of the city state of Mesopotamia.

There are two strange articles (summary) in this.

“When a doctor treats a fracture or intestines, the patient must pay a silver coin.”

“If a doctor cut a patient’s eyes with a bronze knife and made him blind, the doctor’s hand has to be cut.”

It is shown that doctors cured patients broadly, and received rewards, and were held responsible for mistake.

Surprisingly a doctor seems to operate on a patient with stinging his eyeball with thin needle.

The surgery became common, and therefore the regulations were necessary.

A cataract surgery of ancient Roman times might originate from this surgery.










a medical book of papyrus

< a medical book of papyrus >

In Egypt from the 20th century B.C., a lot of papyruses that the surgery and the internal medicine were written were found.

A part of these description will be old more than 1000 years additionally.

In a relief engraving of about 2500 years B.C., a scene of performing circumcision with a knife was described.




a relief engraving of performing circumcision in Egypt 

< a relief engraving of performing circumcision in Egypt >

The oldest example of the surgery was discovered in a burial site of the Neolithic era in France.

The skull of a male at about 5000 B.C. has been bored two holes into.

Since the bone tissue of the holes section was being reproduced, it is thought that it is remains of medical treatment.

The skull seems to have been cut open with a sharp stone implement like the volcanic glass.

There was an example that a cut disk of the remains was buried together with the dead body.

Such trepanations of prehistoric times are found widely in Europe, China, and Peru.

It has been said that the reason why such dangerous surgery was carried out was to send away a demon.

However, many of these surgeries were concentrating on the left-hand side of male heads, because they treated the injury of the battle.

The survival rate of the trepanation was considerably high, it was 25-80% in medieval Europe, ancient German, and ancient Peru.

Modern humans already were widely doing considerably difficult treatments from prehistory until ancient times.

From the next time, I introduce the medical art of the ancient civilization.












Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, science, Series: History of sickness and medical art | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

お奨め本 :キューブラー・ロス著「死ぬ瞬間」シリーズ

one death and dying












Categories: book+ film+drama, <japanese language, science | Tags: | Leave a comment

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