Egypt indeed was a civilization that made a worldwide impact and even till this day, history authenticates their ingenuity in the culture and administration of the affairs of the people in the ancient times. Egyptians were incredible pioneers in almost all facets of life, medicine not excluded. As a matter of fact that is where their prowess and skills are most visible, they are at the fore front of medical inventions. The ancient Egyptian medicine is one of the oldest recorded theories in the history of medicine. Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine alongside other intellectual phenomenon like Herophilos, Erasistratus and Galen studied at the temple of Amenhotep, where they officially learnt the contribution of ancient Egyptian medicine to Greek medicine, a transfer of knowledge only made possible by the Alexandrian doctors.
However, the ancient Egyptian medicine surpasses both the Romans and the Greek medical sophistication. Who knew the Egyptian medical practices will still be relevant in the world of today? Egypt had capable physicians whose theories have helped to form the modern-day medical practices; some have been modified in recent times, but does not alter the fact that they gave modern world the head way to start with. As a practical proof of the claims, the Edwin Smith Papyrus exists, a textbook on surgery and human anatomy, believed to be authored in 1600 BC, containing medical information from 3000 BC. Around the 2750 BC, Egypt recorded the first ever surgery to be performed. Generally speaking, Egyptian civilization has served and saved humanity a lot of oddities. Thanks to the ancient Egyptian medicine, we have workable theories and practices that keeps people from ill health. It will not be wrong to consider Egypt the cradle of modern medicine.
1. Pomegranate to Kill Worms
Egyptians are known for Vegetables and fruits of many types which were widely grown in the ancient times. While the pomegranate is a symbol of prosperity and ambition in Egypt; it also has its health benefits, it is used for the treatment of stomach discomforts of tapeworms and other infections. The bark of the fruit and the tree as well is used for a traditional remedy to correct stomach upsets possibly caused by worms. The ancient Egyptian papyri actually mentions it as efficient in handling digestive problems caused by worms; and modern scientists confirms it, they found that the fruit contains a high degree of phytochemical compounds particularly, tannin, an antioxidant which is in sufficient quantity to paralyze worms. Pomegranate contains antioxidants in considerable high degree than in green teas, blueberries, cranberries or red wines; with that rare property it can also be useful in the treatment of cancer and heart diseases.
2. Splinting Broken Bones
An experiment by Sir Grafton Elliot Smith in the early years of the 20th century revealed fractures that were properly healed by the ancient Egyptian physicians, say about 5,000 years ago. Skeletal evidence found in Egypt shows that the art and idea of splinting bones has been in medical practice long before now. This practice is still of relevance in the modern dispensation, thus, modern medicine never fails to credit ancient Egyptian medical acumen for it. The idea of using splints for bones is to hold them firmly in place and for the prevention of further damage.
3. Pain Killers and Anesthesia
Herbal medicine served an undeniable purpose in ancient Egypt before the modern medics found the value of it. Ancient Egyptian medicine made generous use of herbs – onions, garlic, coriander, henna, cumin, aloe, among many others. They were used as important ingredients for making wine and oral medicine. Egyptians knew the value of herbs so much that they didn’t mind importing some from abroad(other parts of Africa). Herbs like the Mandrake was imported from Canaan and then grown locally. The mandrake from modern medical analysis is a narcotic which is used in the manufacture of pain killers and anesthetics. Obviously, ancient Egyptians knew diverse ways of using these natural herbs to suit whatever the purpose, health or plain entertainment. In the field of medicine, the mandrakes were used as a natural remedy to control pain.
4. Dental Bridges
Dental Prosthesis/implants is not so new after all. The dental trend has a traceable origin in Egypt, pioneered once again by the ancient Egyptian physicians. Through the use of metal coils and bio-compatible abutments, missing tooth or teeth were replaced and dental bridges were made for the oral health of the ancient Egyptians as seen in the dentition of the human skulls found in Egypt. Egyptians have a history of dental caries for both the upper and middle class, young and old alike. Egyptian were class conscious and that reflected in the level of dental caries that they had. One thing that actually went round for everyone was the wearing of teeth as a result of the helpless mixture of their food(corn) with the abrasives from their grinding materials. Worsening the case for the rich was their use of more sweeteners than the poor in their diet. In other words the Egyptians had to have a delicate issue with dentistry. Their teeth perished from the stone abrasives, thus the need for their physicians to come up with something that will help people with serious dental troubles. These attempts of theirs which worked for them has in turn also served the modern society.
No Nutritionist in our time will fail to mention the usefulness and health benefits of celery. The ancient Egyptians used this plant as a remedy for rheumatism as mentioned in one of the Egyptian Medical Papyrus. Alongside the saffron, both were used as anti-inflammatory agents for rheumatoid arthritis and also for digestive tract inflammations(heart burns). The historic Egyptians must have also enjoyed other health benefits of Celery- keeping cholesterol and blood pressure in check, weight loss and digestion – even without knowing it.