The Magic and Science of Ancient Egyptian Medicine Essay

2592 Words May 9th, 2013 11 Pages



PAGE 1. Introduction 1 2. The Edwin Smith Papyrus 2 2.1 Authorship 3 3. The Ebers papyrus 3 4. Human anatomy and physiology 4 4.1 Head, heart and thoracic cavity 4 4.2 Limbs and Injuries 5 4.3 Disease, Illness and their remedies and cures 6 5. Medicine and Dispensing 7 6. Conclusion 8 7. Bibliography 9

Page 1

1. INTRODUCTION A broken bone, a runny nose, stomachache, toothache, headache or strange lumps and bumps; these are just a few of the ailments that have plagued man
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A similarity, however, is that in some cases there is nothing that can be done for some cancers.

Dracunculiasis (Guinea Worm) was treated by wrapping the emerging end of the worm around a stick and slowly pull it out. 3500 years later, the treatment has not changed. Page 4. These two examples are not too extreme or odd, but the other remedies are somewhat ridiculous. Ebers Prescription Number 465 offers a remedy for baldness, which involves making a mixture of: the fat of 1 lion, the fat of 1 hippo, the fat of 1 crocodile, the fat of 1 tom-cat, the fat of 1 snake and the fat of 1 Nubian Ibex. The mixture must then be rubbed into the head of a bald man. Prescription Number 250 has a unique take on curing a headache. Boil the skull of a catfish in oil, and daub the head with it for 4 days.

These remedies may seem rather strange to us, but 2000 years ago, they made perfect sense. Just as we trust our modern day physicians, so did the ancients trust theirs.

4. HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY Most of what the ancient Egyptians knew about the human body and its physiology came from the process of mummification. During this process the internal organs were removed and more than likely studied, providing an

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