What is the history of natural medicine?

The history of natural medicine is no different from the history of medicine.

Nowadays, what we call medicine and what official doctors are practicing is, in reality, something very new and undeveloped compared to the medicine of olds.

We can say that medicine has always been natural for thousands of years as far as humanity can remember. It only became unnatural less than 2 centuries ago. 

The notion of medicine and places of care is as old as humanity. Each culture has organized its medicine according to its principles, means, beliefs, and limits.

Do not think that the old days’ medicine was crude, primitive, and ignorant: it was just different.

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The history of medicine is fascinating and very complex. Widely documented in the books, many of us have spent their whole life on the subject.

Without being a fan of history, some things are worth mentioning.

Antiquity, which appears at different times from one continent to another, is definitely the most exciting period to understand the significant axes that built medicine.

Formerly, medicine was not a defined, homogeneous and structured “science.”

She was not separated from art, divination, religion, war, astronomy, astrology, surgery, hunting, gathering, plants, food, magic, superstitions, and power games.

Healing from an injury or illness has always been a significant issue for humans. Whether it’s the rich or the poor, the powerful or the layman, the king or a simple servant, everyone can be ill and die from sickness. 

If health concerns all of us, quality healthcare has always been accessible only by a few. Probably not for the better, like many valuable things, health became a business.

A lot of eagerness and jealousy were created in the hearts of men. Many have fought to death throughout the ages to detain the power to cure anything and reach immortality.

Even though we did not reach immortality, the good side is that it created a lot of interest and many significant advancements.

It is in that state, little by little, that major axes of the medicines emerged: oriental, western, African, pre-Columbian, and aboriginal medicine.

Far from being unified, these medicines presented significant differences in their complexity, approach, and therapeutic means. However, they all incorporated into their understanding of the causes of disease: the impact of climate, diet, and emotions.

They also considered the strengths and weaknesses transmitted by the ascendants (parents, grandparents, and lineages) and the patient’s living conditions.

It can be said that at the beginning of the Middle Ages (around 450 AD) the great medicines were in place.

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Among them, 2 medicine stood out:

  • The Chinese Traditional medicine

Chinese medicine is undoubtedly the most advanced and successful in terms of fundamental theory understanding. Their comprehension of the body’s mechanisms and physiopathology of diseases is so advanced that even today, cutting-edge scientific research is proving what we already know in Chinese medicine for centuries.

Chinese medicine is also on top in the therapeutic field, especially in herbal medicine, with their advanced knowledge of single herbs and formulas.

  • The Hippocratic medicine

Based on Hippocrates, the “father of medicine,” Hippocratic medicine is the medicine that will lay the foundations of all Western medicine. Its Hippocratic corpus, its theory of moods, its notions of hygiene, movement, and healthy eating represent that medicine’s core. Even today, doctors take the Hippocratic Oath.

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