medhist

Tibetan doctor anno 2003

This wonderful photograph of a Tibetan doctor from the photostream of Wellcome Images on Flickr makes it totally clear that Western boimedicine still has not conquered the world. Here medicine is still based on family traditions and a textbook from the 12th century!

The caption to the photo reads:

This photograph taken in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, China, in 2003 shows a Tibetan doctor stood [sic] on the roof of his house holding two precious medical books - one is a copy of the fundamental Tibetan medical classic Gyu Shi (‘Four Tantras’) written in the 12th century; the other is a manuscript on compounding medicines, which was composed by the members of his medical family (going back four generations) and takes into account the locally available materia medica and the knowledge the doctors of this lineage have gained through trial and error while compounding their medicines.

Engraving of treament for syphilis, 17th century

Caption: Syphilis. Engraving of people suffering from syphilis, a sexually-transmitted or venereal disease, being treated in 1689. At lower left is a man with syphilitic skin pustules on his whole body. At lower centre a patient is in a steambath or sauna. At left and upper centre, physicians are preparing medications for the patient in the bed at upper right; at this time, medications for syphilis contained mercury, a poisonous metal. The banner at top centre refers to Venus, the goddess of love. Syphilis is caused by infection by the Treponema pallidum bacterium. Image from Germany.

“For one pleasure a thousand pains.” - Illustration of a Syphilitic Man in Fumigation Stove

Original caption: “For one pleasure a thousand pains.”

A syphilitic sits in a fumigation stove, his head only visible, an attendent is just pulling in some fresh fuel, while another heats a towel in front of the fireplace.

Engraving by Jacques Laniet Receuill des Plus. Illustrates proverbs (Paris, 1659-1663).