How Were Fevers Treated in Ancient Times?

Fevers have been a common ailment throughout human history, and ancient civilizations had their own unique ways of treating them. In this article, we’ll explore some of the methods used by our ancestors to combat fevers.

Ancient Egypt

In ancient Egypt, fevers were often treated with medicinal herbs and plants. One such plant was the willow tree, which contains salicylic acid – a compound that is similar to aspirin and has pain-relieving properties.

Additionally, the Egyptians believed that sweating was an effective way to rid the body of toxins and fever. To induce sweating, patients were wrapped in blankets or placed in sweat lodges.

Ancient Greece

The Greeks believed that fevers were caused by an imbalance of bodily fluids or “humors”. They treated fevers by attempting to restore this balance through various methods.

One popular treatment involved bloodletting – a process in which a small amount of blood was removed from the patient’s body. Another method was purging, which involved inducing vomiting or diarrhea to remove excess fluids from the body.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, fevers were seen as a sign that there was an excess of “heat” in the body. To treat this excess heat, practitioners would use acupuncture to stimulate specific points on the body and restore balance. Herbs such as honeysuckle and chrysanthemum were also commonly used to reduce fever.

Native American Remedies

Native American tribes had their own unique remedies for treating fevers. One common method involved using sweat lodges to induce sweating and flush out toxins from the body. Another remedy involved drinking teas made from herbs such as yarrow and elderberry, which have natural fever-reducing properties.

The Bottom Line

While many of these ancient remedies may seem strange to us today, they were often effective in treating fevers and other illnesses. It’s important to remember that modern medicine has come a long way since these ancient times, and we now have access to a wide range of safe and effective treatments for fevers. However, it’s still interesting to look back at the methods used by our ancestors and appreciate their ingenuity and resourcefulness.