diseases, doctors, food, Galen, Hippocrates, menstruation, remedies

Humoral medicine: a beginner’s guide

How do we know what's wrong with our bodies? We may be aware of symptoms – of pains, twinges, immobility. We can also aware of some of our bodily fluids: our saliva, sweat, urine, menses or semen. Sometimes a fluid which is clearly abnormal emerges from an orifice or a wound. If we seek medical treatment, our blood… Continue reading Humoral medicine: a beginner’s guide

sex, virginity

Peeing like a horse?

I was recently re-watching Peter Greenaway’s movie The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982). Set at the end of the seventeenth century, it opens with a series of landed gentry types gossiping, often aiming to shock. After telling them a story from her childhood, one of the beautifully-dressed women states confidently “I used to pee like a horse.… Continue reading Peeing like a horse?

food, teaching

Roman Medicine: Those Cabbages…

I'm a great fan of the British TV comedy series, Plebs, which follows the adventures of two young Roman men and their slave in the big city. In one episode, one of the many interesting remedies of ancient medicine was featured, although not in a standard role! The series is built on finding entertaining parallels between its… Continue reading Roman Medicine: Those Cabbages…