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HPM 1st Semester


JUNE 17, 2013
OUTLINE  Fully mature humans: 50,000 years ago
I. Overview of Prehistoric Medicine
A. Theory of Evolution B. Paleopathology
B. Paleopathology o Science that deals with diseases, demonstrated in humans and
II.Prehistoric Medicine and its Eras animal remains of the ancient times
A. Stone Age (Paleolithic) o Many types of preservation of human remains
B. New Stone Age (Neolithic) o Pseudopathologic conditions can lead to misunderstandings and
III. Primitive Medicine misinterpretation of the finding
A. Surgical Procedures o eg. Humidity, character of the soil – factors that can
B. Concepts of Health and Disease cause misunderstandings/ misinterpretation
C. Ways of Regarding the Sick and Disabled o eg. Osteoporosis – did not suffer from disease but
D. Healing Methods misinterpreted as osteoporosis due to post mortem
malformation of bones
OBJECTIVES o Methods to understand ancient diseases
At the end of the lecture, the student should be able to: o DNA amplification and sequencing
1. To conceptualize the importance of learning the art of healing o Scanning electron microscopy
thousand/ millions years ago as it evolutionized to our modern o X-ray
practice. o CT Scan
2. To realize that there are ancient healing practices being o PET Scan
recognized up to the present day medical practice. o MRI
3. To describe cultures, practices, beliefs of prehistoric times onto o Chemical Analysis of Carbon-14
the different eras of civilization.
4. To familiarize the primitive and ancient medical practices with
different tribes worldwide. II. PREHISTORIC MEDICINE AND ITS ERAS
 No written testimonies to describe them.
References:  Man lived like beasts in nomadic lifestyle.
Powerpoint and transes from batch 2016  Evidence based on
Legend: Italicized – quoted from the lecturer; bold – emphasis, or o Primary: Ancient fossil remains, dried cadavers,
from references bones, teeth, ashes, etc.
o Secondary: Skeletons from museum collections,
I. OVERVIEW OF PREHISTORIC MEDICINE art works, paintings, artifacts, burial goods,
Geologic Time Scale (*Radiometric Dating - ancient life preserved in documents
 Provide information about health, disease, death,
o Paleozoic environment and culture
- discovery of oxygen and animals with horn and scales (amphibians
and reptiles) A. Stone Age (Paleolithic) 30,000 BC
o Mesozoic – dinosaurs came out
o Paleo - old, lithic – stone
o Cenozoic
o After great ice age (ended 10,000 yrs with the last retreat of
- “Recent Life”
the glaciers)
- up to present times
o Habitat: caves
- life came about
o Tools: chipped stones and bones used for hunting and
- human arises
weapons against hostile forces of nature
- divided into tertiary and quaternary period
o Hunter gatherers - more or less well nourished
o Quaternary period 1.6 – 0.01 million years
o Clothing: animal fur
o Pleistocene epoch 1.6 – 0.01
o Learned to use fire
o Holocene epoch 0.01 – 0
o Cave paintings in Spain and France
o Earth is 4,600 million years old
o Biodegradable inventions
o Handicrafts: ivory and limestone - crude skills
A. Theory of Evolution
o Diet: wild grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables, animals
 Charles Darwin 1809-82 – English naturalist o Believed in magic and life after death
o Human beings evolved from rudimentary B. New Stone Age (Neolithic) 10,000 BC
organisms via natural selection
o Food producing: farming, animal husbandry (agriculture)
o Related to gorillas and chimpanzees (arboreal -
o Habitat: domesticated – huts, villages (dense population)
lives in trees)
o Tools: polished and articulate
o Separation of human line from the apes: Africa 5-
o Craftmanship improved: sculpture, figurines,
6 million years ago
potteries, basket weaving, etc.
 Anatomical model human 130,000 years ago
o Diet depend on staple crops

Transcribers: Page 1 of 3
HPM 1.1
o Undernourished compared to hunter gatherers (stone age) o Spells – when someone casts a spell, he expects
o Food storage: poor something to happen
o Beliefs: worshipped megaliths and stone monuments o Praying – asking for a favour that could be granted
o Remedies: herbs, heat, massage or not
o Surgical procedures: trepanning (bore hole in skull to o Performs rituals – wears ceremonial attire
remove bad spirits), amputation, mutilation of sex organs o Masks
(for females(clitoris): for them to remain chaste until they o Amulets
are married) o Hat
o Family planning: prolonged breast feeding and post-partum o Drums and rattles
sex prohibition o Coat
o Worship megaliths and stone monuments o Medicine bag
o Famine and transfer to other places carrying some parasites o Services paid according to social status
o Shaman’s task
III. PRIMITIVE MEDICINEdescribe them. o Determine the offender (person or spirit)
o The ideas and practices of primitive cultures varies in o Was any taboo violated?
accordance with geography and historical heritage. o Takes the history, consult the gods, sometime in
o Indigenous tribes designated as primitive trance, discover which spirit or mortal was casting
o Africa, Asia, Australia, Islands of the Pacific, North the spell (Divination)
America (Indian Tribes, Eskimos), Central America o May spend days with elaborated ceremonies
(Aztecs), South America (Incas)
o Ancient culture revered and feared serpents. D. Healing Methods
o Shelling out of snakes – symbol of new life - Spiritual
o *Life expectancy 25-40 y.o. - men lived longer than women - Drives out evil spirit (exorcism)
who only stayed at home - Lure back a lost soul
- Conciliate an offended god
A. Surgical Procedures - Direct
o Castration of bulls - Massage
o Remove arrows from the body - Cupping
o Clitoridectomy, circumcision - Sucking
o Trepanning – relieves headaches due to the belief that - Bleeding
sickness was caused by an evil spirit and the only way to - Fumigation
leave the person’s body is to dig a hole on the skull - Steam Baths
- Medicinal Herbs
B. Concepts of Health and Disease - Yellow plants – jaundice (Principle of Signature)
o Primitive cultures do not distinguish between medicine, - Hairy plants – baldness (Principle of Opposites)
magic and religion - Thistle plants – sore throat
o Disease and death are works of the supernatural - Antipyretics
o Man is in good health as long as the soul stays with the body - Antispasmodics
o Illness results from the projection of an evil force or foreign - Emetic
object by magic or sorcery - Diuretics
o When spirits are offended they cause illness - Laxatives
o Ancient cultures revered and feared serpents - Noxious medications
Prevention - Modern Medicines adopted from Ancient times
o Avoid breaking taboos or offending the spirits - Salicylic Acid: anti-arthritis
o Offer food, songs, dance - Quinine: malaria
o Abides by the rule and conduct of the group - Cocaine: anesthetic
o Wears amulets (anting- anting) - Ergot: contract involuntary muscle
C. Ways of Regarding the Sick and Disabled - Ephedrine: antiasthmatic
- Colchicine: gout
o Kindness and acceptance
- Digitalis: heart failure
o In famine – elders commit suicide to minimize food
consumption on their granaries
- Open wounds – ointments (antimicrobial)
o Eskimos sent folks out on ice unsheltered
- Lacerations – Sutures (threads from strips of tendons)
o Cannibalism
Needles (from bones) suture and needles
o Those who recovered seemed possessed by unusual powers
- Drainage of wound – stripes from the bark of the tree
and signify qualities of a shaman
- Hemorrhage – pressure, tourniquet, cautery stypic
Shaman (The Practitioner Man, Witch Doctor)
substances (e. herbals)
o Powerful figure concerned with the people’s health and
- Amputations – fractures: Splint of wood, cast (from skin of
their entire welfare
o Concerned on people’s health
- Dislocations (reduction)
o Tools (bones of animals, herbs, stones with magic)
- Trepanning – letting out spirits
o Unusual psychic power
- Anesthesia
o Spells to cast away evil spirits
- General – alcohol to lessen consciousness
- Local – plant substance when rubbed numbs the area
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HPM 1.1
- Obstetrics
- Couvade: father goes thru acts like bearing the child to - Paleolithic and Neolithic stone age
draw away evil spirits that may harm mother and baby Primitive Medicine
(sympathetic magic) = Pregnant dad syndrome - Believed in supernatural and magic
- Childbirth is assisted by a woman. After the birth of the - Healing practices are empirical, magic and religious
baby, the uterus is massage to deliver the placenta oriented
(Crede’s) - not done anymore can cause uterine inversion - History contributes to present medical practice
Public Health and Hygiene
- Poor hygiene – subject to same diseases affecting humans today
- stomach upset Common health conditions during primitive times (mostly ortho)
- diarrhea Osteoarthritis
- respiratory problems Fractures of the spine
- Prevention of epidemics –vacate and transfer to another place Spondylolysis
- smallpox Ricketts
Prevention of smallpox Infection
- Africa: variolation – inject subcutaneously fluid obtained
from blisters Reference: History of Medicine 2nd Edition 2007
- Asia: smallpox scabs soaked in water pricked into skin Lois N. Magner
- China: powdered scabs blown into nostrils

Prehistoric Medicine – million years
- No written evidences available
- Interpretations from diggings of anthropologists, geologist
and paleopathologist

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