The Four Humours. Humans first attempt at treatment.

Human beings get ill and we have tried to understand why this is and treat it from the very beginning of time. It is a quest that Doctors take the Hippocratic oath to try and solve and the reason they do this lies with the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. Hippocrates is the first to try and come up with a reason for why humans become ill by actually looking at the workings of the body itself. He was stymied, as have many other cultures, by the fact that many believed that they would need their body in the afterlife so it had to be either burned or buried. This meant that no one could investigate what was inside the human body and come up with some idea how it all worked. In our enlightened age we have Paid Medical Trials and if you should consider undertaking one for the good of medical science then trials 4 us offer paid medical trials that you might be interested in taking part in.

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When the rules were relaxed following the age of reason Hippocrates was able to start surgical investigating bodies but he also assured in the age of clinic observation by making meticulous notes of what a patient was feeling and experiencing when ill.  Armed with this information Hippocrates came up with the theory of the Four Senses of humor that controlled the body and the mind. It was wrong but it laid a basis for looking at the illnesses that affect the body and mind from a practical and rational basis.

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Hippocrates idea was quite simple; the Human body is a series of balances between four different aspects (he linked it with the four elements of Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire). He thought that the body contains four “humor” Phlegm, Yellow bile (sick), Black bile (poo) and Blood. If one of these was producing too much it threw the other parts out of synch with each other and then illness occurred. The time of year was dependent on what the body is overproducing as a key. Not only that the extra production of the four humours also affected the mood. Too much blood so you being over-enthusiastic and manic. Yellow bile made you aggressive; black was a sign of depression and phlegm indicates boredom and a general disinterest in life.

The only way to treat the body to cure it was to purge it of the particular humor there was too much of. That meant enemas, saltwater to make you sick, decongestants for the phlegm and bloodletting.  This treatment was so popular it lasted for centuries.