When humanity looks at its history of Medicine, it will see that it has gone through the horrible ways and methods that have many wrongs. Especially in the Middle Ages, the trust of Greek thinkers in their ideas and religious and superstitions that dominated much of humanity at that time reveals that they adopted an understanding between Western Modern Medicine and Ancient Medicine.
Although ‘SO-CALLED MEDICINE’, people were trying to bring scientific ideas and take one more step towards humanity at that time. Here are 10 MIDDLE TOUCHES from these steps that have been at least somewhat successful for suffering patients or are still working today:
10-) SKULL KNITTING
When people realized that they were leading to acute or chronic loss of consciousness and even death after the blows to the skull at that time, they wanted to solve the mystery of this event with certain research.
Research has shown that brain damage in wars is 6.2% more than the sum of death and survival. With this result, field surgeons realized that to increase the percentage of human survival, they must find solutions to the fractures of the skull that protects the brain. In order to do this, it was necessary to connect the bone in the injured area from the fracture site and to protect the organs and structures in the bone protected area.
And yes! They accomplished this by producing a new technique. He now had a name: “SKULL BRAID”
In this procedure, just like other medicine and management systems in medicine, just knitting the skull before and after the treatment did not make the patient in a good mood, but it was considered necessary to make many drug supplements. Unfortunately, with the development of this treatment in this direction, it offered this method, which was very costly, only to the upper part of the period.
9-) URINE EXAMINATION
Great Greek thinkers such as Hippocrates and Galen thought that most of the diseases derive from 4 fundamentals: black bile, yellow bile, sputum, and blood. This information was mentioned in the books they wrote in the Middle Ages but became widespread 1000 years later. Although the methods mentioned by Greek thinkers are not used directly in today’s medicine, it can be applied indirectly.
For example, today’s doctors can follow the development of kidney problems or different symptoms from the color of urine (colorless urine), of course, if there are no better ways.
And even in the 21st century, the parameters evaluated in urine are still the same: blood and color .
😎 Garlic and Black Plague
As seen in all other bubonic (bubonic form) plague cases, the Black Plague era created terrible times for Europe.
While the doctors were wondering what to do about the bacteria that spoiled the image of Europe, people were losing their lives without even understanding what they were going through.
Seeing how dangerous the outbreak could be, the people tried to take some precautions. Among these, a tooth that was rubbed into open wounds and infected areas was the head of the GARLIC. The belief in the Middle Ages to secret doctors, herbs and some spices minimized the acceptance of this method.
After a legend that was revealed , this way of treatment became very popular. According to the legend called 4 Thief Vinegar, the people’s belief in garlic was strengthened when they said that the thief group of 4 people provided plague and herb groups mixed with oil and vinegar to steal people from the plague in their homes without catching the plague.
Although it is described as a legend, garlic was effective in stopping plague from taking over the body completely, slowing its progression. Who knows, maybe garlic has saved more lives than expected…
7-) STREET CLEANING
One of the biggest problems in the Middle Ages was the cleanliness. Until the Black Death Outbreak took place in 1348, people unfortunately left their leftovers (feces, vomit, urine, whatever you say …) on the street.
Finally, Edward 3 sent a letter to the mayor of London at the time that the streets were very dirty and that this pollution could be overcome by the plague epidemic. After that, the whole of Europe was ignored, and England applied sanctions up to 2 or even 3 times the normal penalties for every garbage thrown onto the street. This helped to manage people’s behavior and helped manage plague cases well.
While the horrible sanitation techniques of the Middle Ages abused them, this work got better with the importance people attach to their own cleaning.
This wide-ranging tactic, which we can compare to modern vaccination methods, neutralized the bacteria in the region, preventing the plague from spreading.
The medical application of trepanation dates back to the Neolithic period, and many world cultures have accepted and adapted it to their own selves.
The method is quite simple: When a feeling of pressure occurs in the brain, the side where the sensation is drilled is drilled with this drill, and this method has become very common all over the world. The fact that some problems in the human body can be solved by drilling holes in the head does not bring a slight smile ☺ This method known as trepanation in the Middle Ages is called craniotomy today. Craniotomy was generally used for places that cannot be reached in the brain.
Despite many mistakes and deaths, it is an undeniable fact that it has provided a good solution to head traumas and internal bleeding in accordance with the conditions of that period.
5-) BALD’S EYE OIL
Bald’s eye ointment is an interesting and unique topical ointment designed for the eyes in the 9th century. The mixture of onions, garlic, various spices and herbs has proved to be the treatment of medieval medicine.
The book, the recipe of which we have received from Bald’s Leechbook, is a medieval book in English, written in English, with various treatments. Interestingly, even if you remove any ingredients from any of the recipes written in this book, the recipes can lose their antibacterial properties. Even more interesting is the degree of effectiveness of these bacteria: These treatments can neutralize very serious bacteria, even MRSA bacteria.
This power is quite satisfactory considering that even many antibiotics have no effect on the MRSA bacteria.
4-) CAUTERIZATION OF THE WOUNDS
One of the treatment processes with the highest “coefficient of pain” to heal people in the Middle Ages is the cauterization method. It would not be wrong to define it as a primitive method of surgery.
The cauterization method was used not only to heal men whose arm was cut off during the war, but also to eliminate some infections and minor injuries. If we define this method applied in the Middle Ages as a sharp knife on both sides, it would not be wrong. You ask why? Because this method did not have a clear savior feature. Sometimes it healed people and sometimes it hurt people and caused them to get infections. For this reason, our analogy deserves its place.
The full logic of the procedure is based on stopping bleeding and closing wounds. Burning while closing the wounds causes some proteins in the meat to deteriorate and accelerate the spread of infection due to loss of function in that area. Thus, it is revealed how dangerous it is.
If the patient’s condition is urgent and there is little around and blood loss continues, cauterization can save life for a while. However, this method can save the patient as well as increase the risk of slowly growing infection under the wound. Sometimes the treatment was continued by using a burning plant called red-hot poker plant to open the wound completely. There is no doubt that the patient should be kept while this happens ☺
The catheter is a tubular tool made of plastic or metal, which prevents the flow of urine out of the body and is most used in bladder infections and the Middle Ages. Old type catheters are long, pointed, made of metal and slightly curved to follow the natural course of the urethra. Usually, the surgeon inserts the catheter into the patient’s urinary tract while several people hold the patient (agghh!).
Although the catheters used in the Middle Ages were not as thin and featured as now, we can say that that time really met its need.
2-) QATARACT RECEPTION
Since cataract disease is a dominant disease in human history, much thought has been found about its solution and it is still being developed.
Protein accumulation that causes large spots in the eye and blurred vision is called a cataract. The 2 things needed to remove this protein buildup were a sharp scalpel and a surgeon. If it is noted that the surgeons of that day were usually barbers or were involved in another profession, it would not be wrong to say that barbers and surgeons used knives ☺ That’s exactly why the barbers had red and white color at that time. While it represents red blood, white represents healing of the wound, that is, the bandage. In the United States, these colors were converted to white, red and blue for obvious reasons.
Now imagine that the year is 1387 and that you are suffering from cataracts. You go to the nearest barber, and when the barber throws a scalpel into your naked eye, you are hoping that he does it well for you. Obviously even thinking about having this feeling is very scary, but that was the best thing they had at that time. Completion of this process completely depends on the hand and eye coordination of a sensitive barber….
We came to the last in this list among the methods popular and used by medieval Europeans. As we mentioned in Article 4, in that period, excessive cauterization method was used in wars. They questioned why cauterization was not used for this disease, known as hemorrhoids, which has two types, which causes internal and external bleeding in the rectum pathway.
Veee Yes … they have now used the cauterization method in the treatment of hemorrhoid disease. In the previous paragraph, we mentioned that there are 2 types of hemorrhoids. The treatment of these varieties is also done separately. If the patient has an external hemorrhoid, the area of the hemorrhoid is touched on the heated metal surface, but if the internal hemorrhoid is, the heated instrument must enter the rectum.
Since this technique is a last resort in hemorrhoids, it can be used in situations where cream and oily solutions called leucal do not yield results. Today, people find the solution in laser therapy.