One thing that’s kind of mind-blowing to me is the fact that the germ theory of medicine, the idea that our illnesses are caused by microscopic bacteria and viruses and whatnot, is only about 150 years old.
That’s to George Lucas is old, and our ability to counter these microscopic bugs with antibiotics is even younger. Penicillin was discovered in 1928 that’s. Six years younger than Betty White yeah pre, the United States Civil War, medical theory was dominated by the idea of humor ISM.
The idea that there’s, four different humors in our body and our illnesses are caused by imbalances in those humors. The humors. In question were: yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood, and the treatments that were designed were done to increase or decrease the levels of these humors.
Sometimes that meant potions or teas, and sometimes it’s meant just getting it out of the body in the form of bloodletting bloodletting was prescribed for basically everything headache cough upset, stomach, you name it.
It was like the go-to thing that they did. First. First, things first try a little bloodletting if that doesn’t work, you know, try something else, and if that doesn’t work, try some more bloodletting.
Luckily that never killed anybody. Okay, I never killed anybody famous okay. It was a bad idea if humanity has had one consistent enemy across all of our existence. It has been diseased. In fact, the war between man and disease might be the most long-running epic war of all time.
Well, second longest: it’s, a little embarrassing to admit it, but it’s, a war that we’ve, mostly been losing, despite our best efforts. Humors, in might sound a little batty now, but at the time it was cutting-edge medical technology before humor ISM, your illness might have been blamed on evil, spirits or ghosts or angry gods, and he might be prescribed prayers or rituals, or sacrifices in Babylonia.
For example, if you ground your teeth in your sleep, a doctor might assume that your ancestors were angry with you and would prescribe for you to go and lick the skull of a dead relative, because I guess that would make them happy and the 1500s.
They had a treatment called half a mouse. What is half a mouse? Well, it’s, a skin treatment where they would take a mouse cut it in half and then apply that half of the mouse to the boil or wort or brews or whatever it is.
You’re trying to get rid of. Why like? Why? So not only did that never work like even once, but these mice could have been carrying fleas and fleas, were what we’re carrying around the bubonic plague.
So not only were you not curing a disease, you’re. Actually helping to spread it so bad for people also bad for the mouse. Then of course, there’s. The powder sympathy which was used all the way up into the 1600s and the powder is sympathy, was basically something that was used to heal wounds caused by weapons at the time so to heal the wound, you would simply spread the powder of sympathy on the weapon And no, I didn’t misspeak, not on the wound, on the weapon.
It’s. A 1600s age of gunpowder come on people, but hey. The 1600s feels like ancient history to you. As recently as the Victorian times, a popular treatment was for people to eat people now seriously.
It was popular at the time, especially in Europe, to grind up the remains of Egyptian mummies and put them in teas and potions and drink them. Now this actually became problem. There were black markets that sprang up around archaeological digs and museums and Egypt in the Middle East, where people were pilfering mummies for this purpose.
These were not only important historical artifacts, but they were also. You know, like real people that lived thousands of years ago. Countless remains were just ground up and consumed old medicine, bad you get it considering all that it’s, actually surprising how much they did know.
At the New York Academy of Medicine, there’s, a pepero scroll from ancient Egypt. That gives us a good idea of what they did actually understand about. The human body turns out. They had a basic idea of how infections work, the purpose of the heart, the effects of brain injury and the importance of sterilization.
This particular scroll also details 48 separate medical cases and the treatments that were used for each one of them as James Allen. Former curator of Egyptian art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art said what they knew about.
The body is quite striking, though they did not always understand it. So, despite all these crazy of treatments that I was just talking about, they did manage to get some things right. I mean, after thousands of years of just trial and error and trying different things out.
Eventually something’s, gon na work and some of those ideas are don’t practice today, number one don’t, throw that out now I mentioned penicillin earlier. Most people are aware that Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin through a type of mold, but he’s, not the first person to use mold to cure diseases use as far back as the 1500s BCE Egyptians treated festering wounds with what they called infected, barley, bread And then, a few centuries later, the Chinese, the Greeks and the Serbians all had created different various types of moles to treat skin infections.
There are documented cases of ancient Romans and even medieval jesters, using a similar technique to treat wounds now, although not nearly as effective or safe as using straight penicillin. This technique did make a difference.
It actually cut down on the death rate of infections, and this was at a time when the smallest cut could lead to an infection that could kill you. But the major reason this is still relevant to modern day medicine is that this might actually be something we’ll need to turn to to avoid the you know antibiotic apocalypse.
I covered this in a previous article, but scientists have been warning for years that overuse of antibiotics could lead to superbugs that are antibiotic resistant and create worldwide pandemics, but using fungus instead of antibiotics works a little bit differently.
Researcher, Paul Hamlin and his team at the British textile Technology Group in Manchester have been exposing human fibroblasts cells to various strains of fungi. Fibroblasts are the key to the healing process and lay the foundations for scarfs tissue to form Hamlin’s.
Research has shown that the fungi rich in Ch iton, a structural polymer and the fungal cell walls, access sort of a chemical scaffolding attracting and anchoring the fibroblasts and preparing for the next stage of wound healing and a sister compound of chitin called chato San is oxidized During this process and generates tiny trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is also essential for healing now, this type of treatment, wouldn’t completely, do away with antibiotics by any means, but it could be an effective treatment for people that are recovering from surgeries Hamlin and his team are currently searching for partners that can help develop this into wound, dressings that have this this mold in it.
But since the mold is pharmacologically active, it’s. Gon na take a lot of human trials before this actually hits the market number two, this one just sucks, let’s. Talk about leeches, can’t remember when I mentioned bloodletting earlier.
They also use leeches a lot. It was just a slightly safer way of removing a patient of all of our pesky blood, but even outside of bloodletting leeches. Were you as a treatment for a variety of issues, including tonsillitis and hemorrhoids, both of those sound horrifying but, as you may have already figured out, leeches are still used today, especially in cases of reattaching, a finger or a limb, one of the biggest difficulties in reattaching Things is how fragile the blood vessels are, and the blood clots that come up during trauma like that surgery often requires doctors, reconnecting blood vessels, only millimeters wide, hundreds of them at a time.
It’s very difficult work that uses sutures the size of a human hair or smaller, and it’s very iffy. The success rate is not great leeches secrete anticoagulants that keep the blood from clotting, because, obviously, when you’re trying to suck blood out of somebody, you don’t want that blood to get all stuck up in your teeth, and this Smooth flow of blood is absolutely necessary to make these reattachment surgeries work.
Otherwise, without that flow of blood it’ll, just decay and die prescription of leeches may sound, medieval and well. It was medieval, but hey if it works, it works. Number three baby flies make some sound cuter, initially used by Native American tribes, hundreds of years before the European invasion.
It wasn’t until the Civil War that maggot therapy became the new hotness soldiers. In the Civil War were dying from infections by the thousands and they began to notice that maggots, which are usually associated with death and decay.
We’re, actually saving lives when they hatch from an egg maggots are programmed to eat. Just do nothing but eat that’s, all they do for days after they’re born, but when in a wound, what they found out was that they only eat dying and decaying flesh, not the living flesh.
This greatly sped up the healing process and massively cut down on infections, Confederate physician, John Forney Zechariah is reported during my service in the hospital at Danville Virginia. I first used maggots to remove the decayed tissue in a hospital gangrene and with imminent satisfaction in a single day.
They would clean a wound much better than any agents we had at our command. I used them afterwards at various places. I’m sure I saved many lives by their use, escaped septicemia and had rapid recoveries.
Maggot therapy mostly died out after the discovery of penicillin, but it’s, starting to make a bit of a comeback. It was actually approved by the FDA in 2004 and has been especially useful in diabetic cases where their skin lesions require rapid in monitoring.
Number four like I need a hole in my head, trepanation or the act of boring or drilling a hole into the skull might be one of the oldest surgeries in our history. In fact, there’s. Proof of this surgery going back all the way to Neolithic times and it doesn’t stem from one area, either from Egypt to Europe, to China to Mesoamerica.
It seems to be all over the place and, surprisingly, common out of all the Neolithic skulls that we’ve collected between five and 10 percent, seem to show signs of trepanation involved, and in most of these cases, they think that these people volunteered to Do this cool yeah, but you know I mean why it’s, thought that this was done to relieve pressure on the brain.
Most of these cases it looks like it was down a very surgical and precise tools and in a lot of cases it looks like the wound might have actually healed over a little bit, meaning that the patient & # 39.
S actually survived the procedure. Hippocrates wrote about trepanation as a treatment for dented or misshapen skulls, but he also promoted it for a variety of reasons, but also a lot of these look like they were completely non-medical reasons.
Dude Neolithic cosmetic surgery was metal from the late 90s with early 2000s. Twelve skeletons from the Chalcolithic or Copper Age were discovered in southern Russia, and every single one was trepanned in exactly the same place.
It’s, an area of the skull known as the abelian. It’s where blood from the brain collects before flowing into its main outgoing veins. This is actually a pretty dangerous area to perform cranial surgery.
What’s more? Is that all the skeletons were young and healthy and seemed to be not burdened by any other kind of affliction? Researcher BM Mednick Cova, the russian academy of sciences in moscow, believes that these surgeries were ritualistic and that the intention of the ritual was to possibly awaken superhuman abilities and chosen members of the tribe.
Now, to be fair in most cases, trepanation seems to have been some kind of a treatment for pain or pressure inside of the skull or as some kind of emergency last-ditch effort. Today, trepanation is used as a treatment for epidural or subdural hematoma and is now called a craniotomy number five eating poop yeah.
Really as long as we’ve had stomachs, we’ve had stomach eggs now most of the treatments for stomachache. A very short term just to relieve the you know: acid indigestion, that’s going on into the stomach, but for chronic stomach aches.
There were other options now. In most cases, somebody with chronic digestive problems is just something they’re gon na have to live with, but in ancient China somebody got an idea, a weird idea, a gross idea, but one that strangely worked fecal transplant, also known as fecal bacteria therapy Is when they take feces poop from one person and put it into another person to introduce better gut flora into their system? Strange, as that sounds the science behind it is actually pretty solid.
The human digestive tract is hosted numerous bacteria bacteria that in many cases, actually help with digestion and gastrointestinal health in some cases, for one reason or another, a good portion of these bacteria can be killed off, leaving the intestines vulnerable to other much more harmful bacteria.
Like C difficile, colitis common, modern cause for this happening is again an overuse of antibiotics. What a fecal transplant does is it changes the bacterial makeup of a person’s, intestines, allowing it to get back to you know business now.
Originally, this was done by a person drinking a liquid suspension of another person’s spiegel matter not great and not terribly safe. Nowadays, the donor sample is usually inserted using a feeding tube or through a colonoscopy.
I mean that doesn’t sound like much fun either, but if it’s, a choice between having stomach aches for the rest of your life – and you know inserting a little poop do the poop. Now, obviously, by today’s standards, a lot of what they did back in the days just seems absurd, but a lot of what they did back then was just taking shots in the dark.
Let’s, try this and see what happens and his heart exploded. Okay, what’s next and even when they did get a treatment to work? It was a question of why it worked in the first place, since their understanding of molecular science was practically non-existent.
They came to some very dubious conclusions. I’m, not saying it was like a never ending episode of medical jackass or anything, but that’s exactly what it was, but as silly as it all seems in hindsight, much of our current understanding of Medicine benefited greatly from the Lot of those trial and error efforts from back in the day and when there’s, no methodology and no actual understanding of the cause of disease is all you’re left with is old, wives, tales and superstitions.
Then it’s, mostly gon na be error. Long story short be glad you’re alive today. Alright, thanks for watching that, I hope you found that interesting. This is your first time on this channel. You might want to check out this article.
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