Posted by Captain Everett on March 05, 1998 at 20:36:46:
In response to Beau Brummel, written by P. Bingham on February 24, 1998 at 00:32:53
It was a sort of automatic operation that they did without much thought and not very many people at this time would have protested. It was thought that by removing the bad humors from the body, the bodies functions would improve. And so they used bled-letting for all kind of illnesses.
Several years ago, I attended a lecture given by Dr. Ron Williamson at Old Fort York (Toronto) on medicine at the time of the War of 1812. Amongst the many topics, the Doctor discussed Humours. They were largely drawn from Aritstotle's view of the world, and the four elements. Here's what I've gleaned from my notes, it's about the best description I've run across.
To understand this, it might be useful to draw a cross on a piece of paper (I don't know how to handle this outline on this system). At North place "Hot", south-"Cold", west-"Wet" and east "dry." In the four corners you can place the matching Element, Season of the Year (remember it's Mediterranian based), Humour:
Hot+Wet= Air, Spring, Blood, Emotions/Temper
Hot+Dry= Fire, Summer, Yellow Bile, Irrscability
Cold+Wet= Water, Winter, Phlegm/inflamation, Slow/Stolid/Impassive
Cold+Dry= Earth, Fall, Black Bile, Melancholy
The idea was to achieve a balance amongst the "Humours." Imbalances could be rectified by subtracting from the unbalanced element. Thus if the patient was flushed, feverish, etc., it showed too much of the Hot/Wet element, ie too much blood.
I hope this throws a little light on the rationale behind bleeding.
I remain, etc.
- Very Interesting... P. Bingham 22:24:01 3/08/98 (18)
- Medical knowledge Captain Everett 23:20:08 3/10/98 (17)
- That was wonderful and... P. Bingham 13:43:13 3/11/98 (16)
- Medical Books & Guillotines Captain Everett 22:41:00 3/12/98 (15)
- You must lead an exciting life! P. Bingham 01:06:34 3/14/98 (14)
- Guillotines Captain Everett 10:19:41 3/14/98 (13)
- toys and guns. P. Bingham 18:55:01 3/15/98 (12)
- Caps Ken 13:14:09 3/16/98 (1)
- that's right! P. Bingham 16:57:47 3/17/98 (0)
- Forgive my vanity, but... Captain Everett 22:22:22 3/15/98 (9)
- no apologies... P. Bingham 13:10:24 3/17/98 (2)
- Do not apologise, Sir... Marie Bernadette 17:33:30 3/16/98 (3)
- HERE's the Link Captain Everett 23:10:01 3/15/98 (0)
- HERE's the Link Captain Everett 23:09:07 3/15/98 (0)
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.