This publish is meant to offer historic background for a few of in the present day’s medical therapies. It’s not supposed to offer medical recommendation or remedy. At all times search the recommendation of your doctor or different certified well being supplier with any questions you will have relating to a medical situation.
Not so way back, some fairly weird and even horrifying treatments had been nonetheless getting used to deal with maladies starting from pimples to zoster. Bloodletting, mercury drinks, and even laying on the bottom below a full moon had been therapies that not solely did not elevate eyebrows, they loved a fervent following by practitioners and sufferers alike. Nevertheless, amongst these historical (and ineffective) treatments, some therapies at the moment are really acknowledged as protected and efficient.
The most important class of historical treatments with fashionable purposes must be pharmaceutical therapies. Whereas many, many medicines are derived from nature in the present day, these therapies have been used for 1000’s of years:
- Aspirin: willow bark’s salicylic acid, in use since historical Egypt
- Metamucil: husk of the psyllium seed, from historical Ayurvedic medication in India
- Artemisinin: anti-malarial treatment derived from candy wormwood, lengthy utilized by conventional Chinese language medication (its fashionable developer received a 2015 Nobel prize)
- Galantamine: remedy for gentle Alzheimer’s, first recorded by historical Greeks to be used with dementia
Medical practices from historical occasions have discovered fashionable makes use of as properly. Trepanation, the elimination of small part of cranium bone to alleviate stress, has been in use since prehistoric occasions and remains to be used in the present day (albeit below anesthesia…). The usage of leeches to enhance circulation goes again to Ayurvedic medication, and whereas the follow just isn’t a typical a part of fashionable medication, leeches have been used to stimulate circulation in pores and skin grafts and in different vein illnesses. The usage of wound cauterization is among the earliest recorded surgical strategies nonetheless in use in the present day, as is using a tracheotomy, which was first recorded in 320 BCE.
A pure materials that has loved lengthy use in medication and well being is copper. Copper, in numerous varieties, is discovering renewed curiosity within the final a long time for its biocidal properties. With out understanding why it was efficient, historical Egyptians and Greeks used copper powder in wound care and to treatment eye infections. We now perceive that copper has very efficient antibacterial properties, killing micro organism via oxidation. Apparently, one other historical use of copper was to assist management seizures. At the moment, we all know that there’s a connection between copper deficiency and seizures, particularly in sufferers with Wilson’s illness. There are even new antibiotics being studied that use copper, which is sensible when you think about our personal immune system makes use of copper in the identical method.
Maybe one of the vital thrilling new makes use of of copper just isn’t really treating infections, however stopping them. At the moment, copper alloys and EOScu, a copper-impregnated exhausting floor, are EPA-registered self-sanitizing surfaces able to constantly killing micro organism. Because of this the affected person atmosphere – from bedrails to overbed tables – can constantly cut back the quantity of micro organism surrounding a affected person, thereby lowering the chance of an infection. Even the ancients would agree with Benjamin Franklin’s sensible saying, “an oz of prevention is value a pound of treatment,” a sentiment very true contemplating the associated fee in lives and cash attributable to preventable hospital-associated infections.
We’re grateful for the medical legacy our historical civilizations left us, which we are able to now mix with fashionable science to search out “new” therapies to assist hold us wholesome. Who is aware of what will likely be rediscovered subsequent!
Editor’s Notice: This publish was initially revealed in July 2019 and has been up to date for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.