Medicine through time and on the Western front

  • Created by: anna_777
  • Created on: 28-10-22 16:19

Medicine Through Time- a chronological timeline




Hippocrates explains his theory of the 4 humours (Blood, Phlegm, Black and yellow bile), the idea that the body’s 4 ‘ingredients’ can be out of balance which leads to the spread of disease.


Galen uses Hippocrates theory to explain a way of treating simple ailments, the theory of opposites explains that to cure an illness one need to consume the inverse of the outbalanced humour, ie if someone is experiencing hypothermia then they would eat hot chilli.


Medieval Era (1250-1500)

Overview of the Era-

Humoral treatments the main form of controlling illness, this included bloodletting (through Cupping, Leaching or Cutting), Purging (through emetics or laxatives), however there was one other popular method of disease treatment, Herbal Remedies which were a combination of plants, the most famous one being Theriaca a mix of 64 spices.

Causes Religion, Humours, Miasma, and astrology were the main causes of disease. Prevention was very limited, based around miasma and the Regimen sanitatis.

1348- Black Death

The black death was the name of the first major plague outbreak in Europe, the plague was very deadly and killed almost 1/3 of the population, key ideas around the cause and treatment of disease were based around or had influence over the reaction to the Black Death. The Black Death was said to have been caused by Miasma, God (punishment), or due to the alignment of the planets in previous years; the reality was the disease was caused by Fleas or ticks carried by rats. The Pandemic was treated and prevented based on these ideas: Lancing buboes, confessing sins, herbal remedies, preventing bad air and avoiding victims all became main ideas of the population.

1440- Printing Press

The creation of the printing press was revolutionary for the spread of new knowledge, no longer could the church control the spread of information (as previously all books were had written within the church) this meant that society slowly began to secularise.


Renaissance Era (1500-1700)

Overview of the Era-

The society has become much more secular, the church no longer controls all parts of life, consequently the Era has a more scientific approach to the ideas of Cause, Prevention, and Treatment.

            Treatment Humoral treatments remained as they did in the medieval era, as did Herbal remedies (although with the ‘new world’ in 1496 lead to better resources like Ipecac for Dysentery). A new means of prevention also arose, transference the idea that disease can be spread from one object to another, for example chickens could be rubbed on buboes to stop the plague. Another new idea was Iatrochemistry, or the use of Chemicals in treatment for example Mercury for syphilis treatment. 

            Prevention Preventing bad air or miasma continued as a common way of helping disease, lifestyle advice also continued in a similar way (the regimen sanitatis was still used in the same way), the conditions of a person’s birth also changed their relations to


No comments have yet been made