Brief Outline Of Death And Diseases In The Medieval Era

951 words - 4 pages

A disease is 'a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment'.Six examples of diseases are;-Cancer-Meningococcal Disease-Hepatitis B-Hepatitis A-Hepatitis C-Black DeathThese can be transmitted by touch, saliva, air (breath), and other senses.People were likely to suffer early death in the Medieval Times because there were no cures and they relied on superstitions.Diseases spread quickly in Medieval cities because they were not very knowledgeable about disea ...view middle of the document...

Sanguine was hot and moist, choler was hot and dry, phlegm, cold and moist, melancholy, cold and dry. They worked to diagnose which humor was at fault then balanced out or purged the humor with herbal remedies and often by bloodletting or by the administration of laxatives. The most common diseases during the middle ages were dysentery, epilepsy, influenza, diphtheria, scurvy, typhoid, smallpox, scabies, impetigo, leprosy, pneumonia, stroke, heart attack, scrofula (chronically swollen lymph nodes, later identified as a form of tuberculosis), St. Vitus' Dance (rheumatic chorea, a temporary disorder of the parts of the brain that control movement and coordination), and St. Anthony's Fire (ergotism, caused by ingesting toxic amounts of alkaloids produced by a fungus that infests rye - symptoms included gangrene with burning pain in the extremities, convulsions, hallucinations, and severe psychosis).The physicians also believed, in what became known as the Doctrine of Signatures, that the color of flowers and other properties of plants indicated their usefulness in treating particular diseases. For example, plants which bore yellow flowers, such as dandelion and fennel, were linked to the liver's yellow bile and were recommended to treat jaundice.What few physicians there were stayed mainly in the cities where they received substantial wages and privileges. The physicians' services were expensive and affordable only by the very wealthy. As a result, most formal medicine was practiced and governed by the church, which thought illness was divine retribution. Due to this belief, many of the sick took pilgrimages in the hopes of recovering by making peace with God.This belief, however, did not stop the monks, who were the most literate of the general population, from applying what they had learned from making copies of the ancient medical tex...


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