Greek culture is a culture that I know little to nothing about. In the Greek culture, family is very important. In their culture it is very important to have a good, trusting relationship with their doctor. Typically a male would see a male doctor and a woman would see a female doctor. In most cases, Greek families like to know of an illness of someone in the family before the ill family member finds out. The family members would like to decide if the diagnosis is worth telling the sick family member.
Greeks are very sensitive on death and dying issues so they prefer not to tell a family member because they feel it would only be a burden. (Mitchell) After a death they light a candle that will burn all night. Once buried bones, after 3 years, are unburied and put into a holy box to be placed in church or reburied in the family grave. Graves are visited daily in this culture as they celebrate a special service on the 40th day after a death. There are specific birth beliefs in the Greek culture as well. To keep away the evil spirits, the mother and new born go to church after 40 days of birth.
While in church on the 40th day the baby is blessed and prayers are said to keep away the evil spirits. Charms of white and blue beads are worn on the wrist of the baby to symbolize safety, to protect from the evil eye. An exorcism may be performed if a baby cries excessively. Wrapping a baby in blankets and pinning to sheets is believed to relax an infant. The age two is when children of this culture get baptized. (Mitchell) The Greeks actually had in depth medical knowledge with only the most elementary technology.
Today we are so dependent on technology so it is hard to believe the Greeks were so advanced in the medical field. The ancient Greeks had a cure for cholesterol, diabetes, gonorrhea, cholera, leprosy, anemia, allergies, migraines, acne, and plague. The ancient Greek cure for diabetes was to exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet and life style. It was a severe and fatal condition. They used remedies such as mixing dates, raw quinces, gruel and oil of roses as a cure. These remedies were actually ineffective but using condiments like herbs (black cumin) have been successful in treating diabetes.
The cure for cholesterol had a lot to do with flaxseeds. Modern research does show the effectiveness in lowering cholesterol levels with flaxseeds. Alum was one of the most commonly recommended forms of treatment in ancient Greece. The Greek physicians actually used alum for the cure of gonorrhea. Bad air or pollution (miasma) was the cause of cholera and good hygiene habits were understood to treat the condition. Leprosy is actually a treatment of the Greek that is unknown. It is known that the Greeks did indeed believe all diseases had a biological cause.
Anemia and other conditions like that were treated by the Greeks with beetroot. Beetroot helps to increase red blood count levels as modern research shows. If an individual would become desensitized based on consumption of food they would suggest small doses of that particular food. Mint was an adequate herb used to treat migraines in the culture. Home remedies were used by the Greek to cure acne. Honey, sulfur, vegetable, and herbal preparations were used for acne. Sulfur was extremely popular and eliminated oiliness. The Greeks medical knowledge definitely advanced modern medicine.
(Spielvogel) The Greeks then were still puzzled by the origins of treatments of mental illness just like we are today. Other people were involved in providing medical treatment besides doctors. Doctoring wasn’t regulated so drug sellers, midwifes and root cutters could help medical treatment. The buildings were the patient lived was mostly where healing practices took place. Sick people could also be treated in the temples where rituals and sacrifices took place. The relationship to religion and the role of prognosis also were important aspects of Greek medicine.
The Greeks developed two major medical movements: the cult of Asclepius, god of medicine, and the rational medical theories of the Greek physician Hippocrates. (Osborn) Patients had the right to choose which medical movement they wanted to undertake but both spiritual and rational treatments was used. Asclepius, the god who healed with moving water, had a healing process that was a mixture of religious ceremony and health practices. Treatments included mud baths, special diet, exercise, stress relief, and exposure to the sun.
(Osborn) Any person that wanted to be healed by Asclepius had to make an offer of devotion on return. In the process of getting healed a patient would have to spend the night in a dormitory. During the night the God would pay a visit to the patient in his/her dream. The dreams would be interpreted and then a remedy or advice would be giving to the patient. The main attribute of Asclepius is a physician’s staff with an Asclepian snake wrapped around it. All of these attributes distinguished the art of healing and still survives today as the symbol of modern medicine profession. (Osborn).
The physician Hippocrates is known as the father of modern medicine. The Hippocratic Oath was developed by him and is still used today. Hippocrates was the first physician to view medicine as a science and not a religion. He was a doctor who actually conducted experiments to show that disease was a natural process. (Osborn) After conducting experiments he proved that medicine was science and not by any means magic or supernatural. He was considered an ideal physician and is remembered today for his oath. The legacy of Hippocrates is what set high ethical standards for the practice of medicine.