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The medicine (from Latin medicine , derived in turn from mederi , which means 'cure', 'medicate') is the science devoted to the study of life , the health , the illness and death of human beings , and involves exercise such technical knowledge for the maintenance and recovery of health , applying it to the diagnosis , treatment and prevention of diseases. Medicine is part of the so-called health sciences.


The history of medicine is the branch of history dedicated to the study of medical knowledge and practices over time.

From its origins, the human being has tried to explain the reality and the transcendental events that take place in it such as life , death or disease . Medicine had its beginnings in prehistory , which also has its own field of study known as medical anthropology . They used plants , minerals and animal parts, most of the time these substances were used in ritual magic by shamans , priests , wizards , warlocks , animists ,Spiritualists or fortune tellers . The first civilizations and human cultures based their medical practice on two apparently opposite pillars: a primitive and pragmatic empiricism (mainly applied to the use of herbs or remedies obtained from nature) and a magical-religious medicine, which resorted to the gods to try to understand the inexplicable.

Mural painting depicting Galen and Hippocrates . 12th century, Anagni (Italy).

The Old Age data found show medicine in different cultures such as Āyurveda medicine from India , ancient Egypt , ancient China and Greece . One of the first recognized historical figures is Hippocrates who is also known as the father of medicine, Aristotle ; supposedly descendant of Asclepius , by his family: the Asclepia of Bithynia ; and Galen . After the fall of Rome in Western Europe the Greek medical tradition declined. At 5th century BC C. Alcmeón de Crotona began a stage based on the technique ( tekhné ), defined by the conviction that the disease originated from a series of natural phenomena that could be modified or reversed. That was the germ of modern medicine, although over the next two millennia many other currents ( mechanism , vitalism ...) will emerge and medical models from other cultures with a long medical tradition, such as China, will be incorporated .

In the second half of the eighth century , Muslims translated the works of Galen and Aristotle into Arabic , which is why Islamic doctors were induced in medical research. Some important Islamic figures were Avicenna , who along with Hippocrates has also been mentioned as the father of medicine, Abulcasis the father of surgery , Avenzoar the father of experimental surgery, Ibn al-Nafis father of circulatory physiology , Averroes and Rhazes , father of the paediatrics . Already by the end of the Middle Ages after the Black Death , important medical figures emerged from Europe such as William Harvey and Grabiele Fallopio .

In the past most of the medical thought was due to what other authorities had said before and it was seen in the way that if it was said it remained the truth. This thinking was mostly replaced between centuries XIV and XV , while the pandemic of Black Death . Likewise, during the 15th and 16th centuries, the anatomy went through a great advance thanks to the contribution of Leonardo Da Vinci , who, together with Marcantonio della Torre , proposed an anatomist from Pavia , one of the first and fundamental anatomy treatises, called Il book dell'Anatomia. Although most of the more than 200 illustrations on the human body that Da Vinci made for this treaty disappeared, some of those that survived in his Painting Treaty can be observed .

Edward Jenner , discoverer of the smallpox vaccine . In 1980 the WHO declared this disease eradicated.

From the nineteenth century large amounts of discoveries were seen. Premodern biomedical research discredited various ancient methods such as the four moods of Greek origin, but it is in the 19th century, with Leeuwenhoek's advances with the microscope and Robert Koch's discoveries of bacterial transmissions, when the beginning was really seen of modern medicine. The discovery of antibiotics that was a great step for medicine. The first forms of antibiotics were sulfa drugs. Currently antibiotics have become very sophisticated. Modern antibiotics can attack specific physiological locations , some even designed with compatibility with the body to reduce side effects. Dr. Edward Jenner discovered the principle of vaccination by seeing that milking cows that contracted the vaccinia virus by having contact with the pustules were immune to smallpox . Years later Louis Pasteur gave him the name of a vaccine in honor of Jenner's work with the cows. Late 19th century, the French doctors Auguste Bérard and Adolphe Marie Gubler summed up the role of medicine until that moment: «Heal few times, often relieve, always comfort».

The medicine of the twentieth century , driven by scientific and technical development, was consolidated as a more decisive discipline, although still being the synergistic fruit of the medical practices experienced until that moment. Evidence-based medicine relies on a fundamentally biological paradigm, but admits and proposes a health-disease model determined by biological , psychological and socio-cultural factors . The herbolaria resulted in the pharmacology : the various drugs derived from plants such as atropine , warfarin, aspirin , digoxin , taxol etc .; the first was arsfenamine discovered by Paul Ehrlich in 1908 after observing that bacteria died while human cells did not.

Written by: Md Arif Hossain

Source: AR Healthline

Topics: Medicine


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