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Kill or Cure: An Illustrated History of Medicine by Steve Parker

By Steve Parker

Telling the compelling tales in the back of mankind's endless quest to healing each disorder, Kill or Cure makes use of an all-new structure — a text-rich narrative mixed with DK's attractive visible layout — to track the intense heritage of medicine.

Beginning with early healers, likelihood discoveries, technological development, and "wonder" medications, and utilizing panels, timelines, and thematic spreads, Kill or Cure highlights information regarding human anatomy, surgical tools, and clinical breakthroughs whereas telling the dramatic story of scientific development. Diaries, notebooks, and different first-person money owed inform the attention-grabbing tales from the viewpoint of people that witnessed clinical historical past firsthand.

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According to Galen, imbalances or improper mixing between these features led to ill health. Galen also grafted onto the humors and elements a series of behavioral types or personality traits that had been earlier postulated by Aristotle. Galen suggested that an excess of a certain humor in the body produced a particular temperament or disposition in that person. Thus a sanguine (blood) character is typically active, creative, and sociable, if perhaps impatient; a choleric (yellow bile) character is usually driven, passionate, and domineering, if aggressive; a melancholic (black bile) character is generally quiet, pensive, and self-contained, if prone to sadness; while a phlegmatic (phlegm) character is commonly calm, composed, kind, and lethargic.

This was one of the earliest forms of endoscopy—peering into the body’s innards through a natural opening or purpose-made incision. For troublesome hemorrhoids, the treatments ranged from ointments or salves to ligation (tying off). Hippocrates advised that all records should be written in a clear, objective, and uncluttered fashion, so that the physicians involved could look back and draw from their experiences when dealing with new patients. Crucially, other doctors could also access the records and thereby learn from the information.

Generally clean, with reasonable food and compassionate staff, they provided much-needed care and comfort to all manner of sufferers from most levels of society. They were also stopping places for travelers, retreats for students, and havens for the destitute, disabled, elderly, “feeble-minded,” and others who were disadvantaged. Worship was incorporated into a highly organized daily routine, partly to encourage recovery and partly as an institutionalizing force, and physicians visited regularly.

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