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Apothecaries and Medicine Lauren Carr 1/26/07 Freshman Honors English Ms. Estep 5th.

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Presentation on theme: "Apothecaries and Medicine Lauren Carr 1/26/07 Freshman Honors English Ms. Estep 5th."— Presentation transcript:

1 Apothecaries and Medicine Lauren Carr 1/26/07 Freshman Honors English Ms. Estep 5th

2 Elizabethan Apothecaries Medicine was basic, Physicians had no idea what caused the terrible illnesses and diseases. The beliefs about the causes of illnesses were based on the ancient teachings of Aristotle and Hippocrates. The Physicians paid attention to a patients bodily fluids, called Humours, which explains the reason why patients where subjected to 'bleeding'. Other beliefs of the Elizabethan Physicians centred around Astrology. The Elizabethan medical profession had no idea what caused the plague - the best they could offer was to blend or administer a concoction of herbs for the patient

3 Definition of Apothecary A historical name for a medical practitioner who formulates and dispenses medical material to physicians, surgeons, and patients- a role now served by a pharmacist.

4 Why Physicians Dressed the Way They Did The Black(Bubonic) Plague was spread by the bacillus yersinia pestis carried by fleas and transmitted normally by rodents. The Physicians body is completely covered from head to foot, even his face by the ghastly mask. Stout boots and gloves covered his hands and feet. Elizabethan Physicians wore long dark robes with pointed hoods, leather gloves, boots, and the most bizarre masks featuring long beaks which were filled with bergamot oil. Amulets of dried blood and ground-up toads were worn at the waists of the Elizabethan Physicians. It was their custom to douse themselves with vinegar and chew angelica before approaching a victim. Although this might sound pointless today, these precautions would have protected the Elizabethan Physician. The bizarre and gruesome Physician masks would have acted as protection against contracting the disease through breathing the same air as the victim. Neither rats nor fleas could easily penetrate these defenses.

5 Apothecaries/Physician Dress

6 Medicine During the Elizabethan times, medical practices were bound with superstition. Treatments for illness are based on astrology, numerology, herb medicine, the four humours. Most medicine did more harm than good, and the patient often died from treatments.


8 The Four Humours The doctors believed that a person’s health and personality was defined by the four humours: Sanguine-blood: happy, generous, optimistic, irresponsible Choleric-yellow bile: violent, short-tempered, ambitious Phlegmatic-phlegm: sluggish, pallid, cowardly Melancholic-black bile: introspective, sentimental


10 Common Illnesses Fleas and lice were a problem, for they did not know any adequate treatments for extermination Plague was a big concern during the Elizabethan times because there were no treatments for it People sometimes died due to blood loss from dental treatments

11 Causes and Cures The cause for most diseases was lack of sanitation and disinfections Lots of breeding grounds for bacteria and bacteria carriers (rats, mosquitoes) Cures were not available because the churches did not allow dissection of the human body until the mid 16 th century

12 Conclusion Although, this may sound funny to you, this is what happened with apothecaries and medicine in Elizabeth’s reign. Many died and many suffered great pain from the physicians, and apothecaries extemporaneous decisions.

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