Origins of medicine

History has shown that humans are highly fascinated with the study of birth, life, and death. Along the way, people face and fight off diseases. Sometimes, people are cured of their sickness but there are also countless instances where people succumb to illnesses and pass on. It is intriguing to know that every society associates illness to very different causes. Some attribute illness to astrological or God-like influences while others claim demonic possession to be the cause. Though these beliefs are present even up till today, humans take console in the healing properties of medicine. Medicine history has greatly evolved since ancient times and today, they are widely used to generate bodily healing.

The first origins of medicine can be traced to ancient times where plants were initially used as healing agents. It is common for societal members to pass on healing knowledge from one generation to another, leading to the preservation (and improvising) of healing remedies. Many tribal cultures also appointed a “medicine man”. This appointed person functions similarly to a doctor in present day, where he/she helps to diagnose sickness and prescribe its healing remedy. Medicinal developments can be further understood from different cultural perspectives because they evolve in different ways within the same timeline. During the period between Egyptian, Ancient Greece, Roman, Oriental, and Islamic medicine, various healing methods have been devised. These methods were recorded and studied in detail by medical practitioners. Some methods are highly effective and remains practiced today, while others are no longer practiced because they do more bodily harm than good. The development within these eras gives rise to modern medicine, as we have it today.

Medicine history came a long way. The emergence of plague and infectious diseases prompted humans to develop vaccines and many chemical-based agents to counter the spread of such diseases. It helped to curb the number of deaths and paved the way for further advancements in the medicine history, such as the development of alternative medicine. Though there is an intricate belief in every human society that birth, life, and death are unavoidable elements in the cycle of human life, the origins of medicine and its progress have proven that humans have a survivor’s nature and will seek remedies to heal themselves.

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