Medicine During the Elizabethan Era Essay

Medicine During the Elizabethan Era Essay

Length: 1103 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Medicine During the Elizabethan Era


The medicinal practices and problems of the Elizabethan Era were very important to the people, although they are very different from those of today. There were many different beliefs and diseases, like the Plague. Medicine was not an exact science and was related to Alchemy (Chemistry). Here, some of the many practices and beliefs of the Elizabethan Era will be discussed.

One of the most widely known and important of the beliefs was the humours. It was believed that every living creature was composed of four elements, the humours. They were blood, phlegm, choler (or yellow bile), and melancholy (or black bile). It was believed that the overall total combination of these four elements determined the person’s characteristics. For example, a person with more blood than other humours was hot and wet in their nature, a person with more phlegm was cold and wet, a person with more choler was hot and dry, and a person with melancholy being the dominant humour was cold and dry. It was also believed that too much of a certain humour caused disease. That meant the removing or avoiding the dominant humour could cure any disease.

Removal could be done by eating corresponding foods. For example, if a person was phlegmatic in nature, that meant that he was cold and wet, he could be cured if he ate hot and dry foods. Medicines like pepper, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, watercress, and mustard would be useful to such a person. A fever, which was believed to have been caused by excess blood, could have been cured in two ways. One way was to eat cold and dry food, and the other was to have excess blood sucked out by leeches.

Another of the many popular beliefs was that every living thing put on Earth by god was for human use. He gave humans control over his creatures. All of them had certain roles, as food, medicine, etc. For example, cows were put on Earth to supply people with meat and milk, and wheat was there to supply bread. Everything on Earth was useful to humans.

Medicine in the Elizabethan Era was associated with many sciences. One of these includes Astrology. It was believed that all living creatures were associated with the stars. It was possible to read a persons past, present and future by the positions of the stars and planets. Therefore, if you were to go to a physician, one of the first things he would ask you wa...


... middle of paper ...


...help. They could go to any of those and get help and people used all of these choices, but the amount of money they could spend limited their choices, as some practitioners charged for their help. But if a person didn’t have a lot of money, he still had many choices available. Almost every community had at least one of each type of practitioner.

Medicine was very important to Elizabethan England and was used widely. It played a major part in the life expectancy of people and was widely studied. It was one of the most important sciences of that era and still is today.

Bibliography

Ramsey, Lia. “Medical Beliefs and Practices.” Elizabethan England. Springfield Public School District. .

McLean, Adam. “Articles.” The Alchemy Website. 1995. .

Chamberlin, E.R. Everyday Life in Renaissance Times. London: B.T. Batsford LTD, 1967.

Andrews, John F. William Shakespeare: His World, His Work, His Influence. Canada: Collier MacMillian, 1985.

“Alchemy.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001–04. .

Trimble, Russell, "Alchemy," in The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal edited by Gordon Stein (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1996), pp. 1-8.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Doctors And Medical Treatments Of The Elizabethan Era Essay

- Doctors and Medical Treatments of the Elizabethan Era The Elizabethan customs were based on the knowledge from the teachings of Hippocrates and Aristotle (Patterson, White). The beliefs were widely accepted. The emphasis on magic and astrology, however, lessened in Elizabethan times. Some physicians did still believe if the planets were not aligned, an individual would get sick. The most common belief was the four humours and the four elements. Being treated for these diseases in an Elizabethan hospital was not like it is today....   [tags: Medicine, Physician, Black Death, Humorism]

Strong Essays
1574 words (4.5 pages)

Living Conditions During the Elizabethan Era Essay examples

- Through the process of rebuilding and establishing a more modern nation, Europeans gained cleaner living conditions and thus, a more sustainable life. Sanitation and cleanliness eliminates difficulties from the body, mind, and environment; however, hygiene was non-existent during the Elizabethan Era. This led to the manifestation of diseases and illnesses. Treatments were unreliable and solely based on superstitions, so there was a dramatic decrease in population. As Europe gained more insight on anatomy, treatments improved and fewer diseases circulated the nation....   [tags: sanitation, cleanliness, diseases, tame river]

Strong Essays
1476 words (4.2 pages)

Women and Children in the Elizabethan Era Essay

- During the Elizabethan time period women were considered the weaker sex. They were thought to always need a man in charge of them. The man in charge of her could be her father, employer or husband. Children were expected to obey their parents and help out whenever needed. I believe women were more equipped to be the head of the family since they had to care for the children and manage the house daily. An average day for a woman consisted of several responsibilities such as cleaning, cooking, marketing, care for domestic livestock such as poultry, pigs and dairy animals, child care, and basic health care....   [tags: gender roles, weaker sex]

Strong Essays
880 words (2.5 pages)

Discrimination of Women During the Elizabethan Era: The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

- ... 152-95), she talks about how mush a man is worth whereas in the beginning, she did not care. Katherine eventually learned what was “right”. Women were also not allowed to enter professions like law and medicine. They also could not act. Only men were allowed to act. Women had to work as cooks or maids. Men were very important in relationships. Women without a husband suffered the most. In the Tudor society, they did not have many avenues open to single women. However, a man without a wife is no different than a man with a wife....   [tags: society, bianca, women´s disadvantages]

Strong Essays
945 words (2.7 pages)

Elizabethan England Essay

- During the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, England thrived with rich invention and innovation. New ideas were exploding out of every corner. Daily life was improved with new inventions and ideas. New inventions allowed improvement and more sophisticated ways of life. The way things were done, and the amount of time they took, changed forever. England had entered, what it is referred to as, it's Golden Age. This era wouldn't have been successful without their ruthless ruler, Queen Elizabeth I. (McGeary, Johanna) Shortly before the Elizabethan era, a man named Henry VIII ruled England....   [tags: research papers, British history]

Strong Essays
2077 words (5.9 pages)

Essay Medicine and Herbal Remedies Throughout the Sixteenth Century

- Shakespeare, self proclaimed poet and renowned playwright, lived in the age of the Renaissance. More specifically, the time at which the Tudor family ruled England, during these times, there were deep-rooted religious cleansings and ongoing witch hunts, that sought out anyone and everyone that did not follow suit. Shakespeare (1564-1616A.D.) was born in, and lived through the medical renaissance, which was the point between 1400 and 1700A.D. that innovated the medicines used in Europe. These treatments were eventually diffused throughout the world....   [tags: Medicine]

Strong Essays
1319 words (3.8 pages)

The Daily Life of an Elizabethan Woman Essay

- The Daily Life of an Elizabethan Woman Every decade brings new rights and opportunities for women. Specifically, in the Elizabethan era between 1558 and 1603, women were given little freedom due to the common idea that they were weak and needed a man to care for them (Thomas). Imagine you are an Elizabethan woman in 1560; you are in an arranged marriage with two children, a boy and a girl. Your daughter is growing up to become a mother and devoted wife just as you did while your son attends school to become anything he desires whether it be a doctor or even a lawyer....   [tags: Decades, World History, Rights, Opportunities]

Strong Essays
1264 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Elizabethan Health

- Health Issues Of The Elizabethan Time The Elizabethan era was not only a period of rations medical science, but also a time of great superstition. Medicine remained attached to astrology and other beliefs such as the supernatural. Elizabethan times was the era in which Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare lived. However the times were very unsanitary. People threw their trash out the window and if their dog or cat died, they would throw that out the window also. When it rained, cats and dogs would flow down the street....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1167 words (3.3 pages)

Christopher Marlowe Protests: The Moral of Doctor Faustus Essay

- When Doctor Faustus was written, there was turmoil in Elizabethan society. The old medieval view made God the most important aspect of the world, while mankind and the natural world were ignored. This was giving way to the idea that mankind and the natural world were supreme. At first glance, it seems that Doctor Faustus was written with the medieval ideal in mind, however, I believe this is not so. I believe that Marlowe subscribed to the renaissance view of the world, and Doctor Faustus was intended to express Marlowe’s outrage at the consequences of seeking knowledge or thinking differently during the Elizabethan era....   [tags: turmoil in elizabethan society]

Strong Essays
898 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Elizabethan Era in England

- The Elizabethan Era is often referred to as the Golden Age of England (A Changing View...). The Elizabethan Era, named after Queen Elizabeth I, was a time of change and discovery (Elizabethan Superstitions). Elizabeth ruled in a time of religious turmoil; both the Catholics and Protestants fought to be the official religion of England. (Elizabethan World View). Many people throughout England struggled to find the “correct” religion (Elizabethan World View). Religion was changing and so did science....   [tags: Elizabethan Era, history, ]

Strong Essays
1575 words (4.5 pages)