ancient egyptian medicine facts


 The mysteries of medicine and surgery in the ancient Pharaonic civilization of Egypt

what did ancient Egypt use for medicine?

Through trial and error, the ancient Egyptians were able to discover medical treatments that were much earlier than their time, and many of them still work today, so today we will take a look at what did ancient Egypt use for medicine. but before we start, be sure to subscribe to the blog and let us know in the comments below what other Egyptian dates you would like to hear about. Other than the ancient Egyptian medicine facts.

ancient egyptian medicine facts

Ancient Egyptian medicine timeline

Ancient Egyptians were among the first great civilizations on the planet, they built the pyramids in Giza, the Sphinx, and the Library of Alexandria, as a well-organized constituent society, the Egyptians had a developed agricultural economy, a highly organized government, and a proper application of the law, these social institutions created a sense of stability in their daily lives that promoted research and documentation.

In the past, ancient Egyptians have been practicing medicine since 3300 BC, their knowledge has slowly accumulated and has been tested and largely verified through a long and arduous process of trial and error. They have begun to treat battle wounds, snake bites, scorpion stings, and other tropical diseases.

But when this cognitive entity began to form, it eventually put them at the forefront of other civilizations of the same age - medically speaking, at least.

But despite all the medical knowledge, the life expectancy at the time was still about 34 years in ancient Egypt.

However, needless to say, you are better off in a society that has been able to heal burns and break bones than those where such injuries are considered a death sentence.

Surgical methods of treatment in ancient Egypt

For reasons that must be fairly clear, invasive surgery was something that was not performed in ancient Egypt. The lack of anesthesia and disinfectant made it essentially impossible because it would have led to terrible pain and almost certain death due to infection. 

However, ancient Egyptians were adept at topical treatments. Using wooden splints and linens, they had functional knowledge of how to stabilize broken bones and correct disturbances.

Tools used in medicine in ancient Egypt

' Wooden splints in ancient Egypt '

herbal medicine in ancient Egypt

They also knew to sew wounds and make effective herbal ointments to heal burns.
While this may seem more like low-level first aid to modern people, in the old world, even these simple treatments can mean the difference between life and death.

Sutures in ancient Egyptian medicine

 ' Sutures in ancient Egyptian medicine ' 

ancient Egyptian medicine tools

Medicine in ancient Egyptian society was one of the great innovations. Thanks to archaeologists, we know that these innovations included some of the first truly effective surgical instruments that helped with medical treatment. The ancient Egyptians made mainly of newly discovered copper metal and had copies of pliers, tweezers, spoons, saws, hooks, and knives, all of which can be found in medical facilities today.
They had the insight to infuse willow leaves to treat inflammation, a practice that was incredibly pre-existing.

Surgical instruments in ancient Egyptian medicine

' Surgical instruments in ancient Egyptian medicine '

Among many other medical innovations, it is very likely that the world's first prostheses were used in ancient Egypt. How do we know?

Well, a mummy that died somewhere between 950 and 710 BC was discovered near Luxor, Egypt, and was found to have an artificial finger made of wood and leather.

A mummy with a prosthetic finger in ancient Egyptian medicine

' A mummy with a prosthetic finger in ancient Egyptian medicine '

While the idea of cosmetic replacement of a severed toe was itself an impressive innovation, researchers at the University of Manchester suggest that it may have been already effective and helped women walk.

The artificial toe showed noticeable signs of corrosion, prompting university researchers to conduct a study that tested the participants' gait with and without the refined number.

What was found was that walking in old Egyptian sandals, which were common shoes at the time, would have been very difficult without a big toe. Prosthetics similar to those in the Luxor mummy would have gone a long way in helping the injured.

While the jury is outside the final origins of the practice, some have speculated that the ancient Egyptians may have invented the act of male circumcision.

What we know for sure is that whether it was created or not, Egyptians certainly shared their knowledge of circumcision with other cultures.

According to the Greek historian Herodotus, written in the mid-5th century BC, Egyptians are the only people in the world who are, at least, and such people have learned the practice of using circumcision.

They practice circumcision for hygiene, considering hygiene to be better than beauty. It also appears that ancient Egyptians performed circumcision in pre-adolescence for males rather than in childhood, as is commonly practiced in other cultures.

This led some to believe that it was a ritual to commemorate the transition from boyhood to masculinity. This practice does not seem to refer to social class or status, however, not all kings who have been retained through embalming seem circumcised.

Doctors in ancient Egypt 

In 1849, a British woman named Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive a master's degree in medicine in the United States.

It was an impressive achievement at the time, but Elizabeth was actually not the first doctor in history to be preceded by ancient Egyptians by about 4,500 years, more or less. Not only were the ancient Egyptians at the forefront of the technology curve.

Being the first in many medical landmarks, it should come as no surprise that the first recorded case of a doctor occurred in ancient Egypt.

The first female doctor known as Merritt Petah was named and, according to archaeologists, she lived somewhere in the neighborhood dating back to 2700 BC.

She probably held the title of Chief Medical Officer, which meant that she had the teaching authority to supervise other doctors, and personally attended to the king of the time. Although invasive surgery was almost unknown in ancient Egypt, their doctors are still able to gather very strong knowledge of internal organs and how they work. Ypres Papyrus is one of the oldest documents preserved. With regard to medical practices, he explains ideas about the work of vital organs at the time. While some theories are slightly different, some are impressive topical. For starters, they knew quite a bit about the heart.

In the words of the Ypres papyrus, which we have adapted a little bit to more modern terms, from the heart there are vessels to all four limbs to each part of the body.

From the respiratory tract, they knew that when we breathe through our noses, the air enters our hearts, lungs, and then the entire abdomen.

They also had knowledge of the liver and believed it was supplied with fluid and air through four vessels. When the liver is filled with blood, it causes many diseases. Of course, since it is very difficult to miss, they have known about the anus and have a few ideas about it, including that the liquid and air that comes out of the anus comes from the vessels in the arms and legs when they overflow with waste.

Well, that's not exactly what you'll learn in modern medical school, but it's still impressive when you think that all of this was recorded around 1550 BC.

Dentistry in ancient Egypt 

Almost no one likes to go to the dentist, but imagine having to go to the dentist in an era when dental care didn't really work.
Well, that's exactly what the ancient Egyptians faced when they had dental problems. For starters, the diet of the ancient Egyptian average did not lead exactly to a large group of teeth. The tools used to grind food often leave traces of sand and stone behind, which are naturally abrasive. This often means losing teeth at an early age.
Now, ancient Egyptians had some treatments for these types of dental diseases, but they were somewhat strange and usually painful. For example, according to Spiers papyrus, the treatment of toothache was to rub a powdered mixture of onions, common, and incense on the tooth. Now, if you're wondering how this has enhanced healing, it won't.
There are cases where ancient Egyptians filled the cavities with a mixture of resin and a green metal containing copper and dug into the jawbones to drain fluid abscesses.
But it is strange that tooth extraction, which can save a life in cases of injury, has never been used.

Tooth extraction in ancient Egyptian medicine

' Tooth extraction in ancient Egyptian medicine '

If ancient Egyptians are known for anything, it is the pyramids, the Sphinx, and the surprisingly complex mummification process, which have led to an understanding of how they work as a society and how they view public health. The embalming procedure was incredibly unfair, involving a comprehensive dissection to remove moisture from the body. The operation involved removing brain tissue through the nostril using a gruesome hook.
As such, the priests who did the holy work took a fairly close and personal look at the inner organs of man who had prepared for the afterlife.

It is strange that the knowledge obtained from embalming was not used for any medical use. While no one knows exactly why these areas were so secretive, the possible strong explanation is that priests and doctors at the time simply did not.
Although ancient Egyptians used many legitimate medical treatments, the basic method of care still depends heavily on magic.
As you can see, they thought all diseases had supernatural causes. However, they have assumed that healing also logically depends on what is also supernatural. So medical treatment often came with a spell thought to help with recovery. One example may be a treatment for whooping cough.
Medical treatment will consist of a crushed grilled mouse mixed with milk, followed by the magical help of the lullaby that exorcized the evil spirits. Looks like it's going to be a disaster. But archaeologists have found evidence of the effectiveness of such treatments.
Does that mean magic works?
Well, we can't rule it out altogether, but most contemporary scientists and doctors believe that the success rate was most likely due to the strong placebo effect.
What do you think?
How does health care today compare to the ancient Egyptians?
Let us know in the comments below.