What Was Medicine Like in the Ancient Times?

Medicine has come a long way since ancient times. In the past, people relied on natural remedies and superstitions to cure illnesses.

There were no hospitals or doctors as we know them today. Instead, people turned to healers, shamans, and priests for help.

Herbal Remedies

In ancient times, people used plants and other natural substances as medicine. They believed that certain plants had healing powers and could cure different ailments. For example, garlic was used to treat infections and fever, while chamomile was used to soothe stomachaches.

Magic and Superstition

Magic and superstition played a big role in ancient medicine. People believed that illnesses were caused by supernatural forces such as evil spirits or angry gods. To cure these illnesses, they would perform rituals or make offerings to appease the gods.

Medical Practices

In ancient times, medical practices were often crude and painful. For example, trepanation was a common surgical procedure where a hole was drilled into the skull to relieve pressure on the brain. Bloodletting was another popular practice where blood was drained from the body to cure various illnesses.

Ancient Medical Practitioners

In ancient times, there were no formal medical schools or training programs. Instead, healers learned their craft through apprenticeships or by passing down knowledge from generation to generation. Some of the most famous healers in history include Hippocrates, who is known as the father of medicine, and Galen, who made important contributions to anatomy and physiology.

The Role of Religion

Religion played an important role in ancient medicine. People believed that illness was a punishment from the gods for bad behavior or sins committed by individuals or their ancestors. As a result, many healing practices involved religious rituals such as sacrifices or prayers.

Ancient Medical Texts

Despite the lack of formal medical education, ancient healers wrote extensively about their craft. Some of the most famous medical texts from ancient times include the Ebers Papyrus and the Hippocratic Corpus. These texts provided valuable insights into ancient medical practices and helped lay the foundation for modern medicine.


In conclusion, medicine in ancient times was vastly different from what we know today. People relied on natural remedies, magic, and superstition to cure illnesses.

Medical practices were often crude and painful, and there were no formal training programs for healers. Despite these challenges, ancient healers made important contributions to the field of medicine and their knowledge helped pave the way for modern medical practices.