What Was Healthcare Like in Ancient Times?

Healthcare is an essential aspect of human life, and it has been around for centuries. However, the healthcare system of ancient times was vastly different from what we have today. In this article, we will take a closer look at what healthcare was like in ancient times.

Ancient Egyptian Healthcare

The ancient Egyptians are known for their advanced knowledge of medicine. They believed that the body was made up of channels that carried air, tears, blood, and urine. They also believed that diseases were caused by an imbalance in these channels.

To prevent and treat illnesses, the Egyptians used a combination of magic spells and medicinal herbs. They had doctors who specialized in treating specific parts of the body, such as dentists and ophthalmologists.

The Egyptians also had a vast knowledge of anatomy. They were skilled in mummification, which involved preserving the body for the afterlife by removing organs such as the brain and liver.

Ancient Greek Healthcare

The ancient Greeks were pioneers of modern medicine. They believed that diseases were caused by natural causes rather than supernatural forces.

One of the most famous Greek physicians was Hippocrates, who is known as the father of modern medicine. He emphasized the importance of observation and diagnosis in medicine. Hippocrates also created an oath that doctors still swear by today.

The Greeks also believed in preventative medicine. They encouraged exercise, healthy eating habits, and cleanliness to prevent illnesses.

Ancient Roman Healthcare

The ancient Romans inherited much of their medical knowledge from the Greeks. However, they also made significant contributions to medicine.

One of their most significant achievements was building public baths and aqueducts to promote hygiene and cleanliness. The Romans also had a well-organized medical system with doctors specializing in various fields such as surgery and dentistry.

They used various herbal remedies for treatments but also incorporated surgery when necessary. The Romans were known for their skills in amputations, bone setting, and even brain surgery.

Ancient Chinese Healthcare

Traditional Chinese medicine dates back to more than 2,500 years ago. It is based on the belief that the body has a vital energy called Qi that flows through channels or meridians.

Chinese medicine emphasizes the balance between Yin and Yang, which are opposing forces in the body. The goal of treatment is to restore balance between these two forces.

Chinese medicine uses various therapies such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and massage. They also believe that diet plays a significant role in maintaining good health.


In conclusion, ancient healthcare systems were vastly different from modern medicine. While they lacked some of the technology and resources available today, they still made significant contributions to our understanding of medicine.

The ancient Egyptians believed in magic spells and medicinal herbs while the Greeks emphasized observation and diagnosis. The Romans built public baths and had a well-organized medical system with doctors specializing in various fields.

The Chinese believed in restoring balance between opposing forces in the body using therapies such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. These ancient healthcare systems provide valuable insights into our history and how we have progressed over time.