Video: BBC Teach, Medieval Medicine. The Four Humours
The Theory of the Four Humours was a mainstay of medical belief and practise for centuries. Originating in the Ancient Greek Civilisation, it remained a source of influence for doctors, herbalists and monastic hospitals well into the Medieval Era. This BBC Teach video provides an overview of the uses of the Four Humours in Medieval Medicine.
The Theory of the Four Humours is one that looks at the way that the different fluids within the body are balanced. Phlegm, Black Bile, Yellow Bile and Blood, according to the theory, need to be well balanced. If they are not, illness follows. Consequently a cure for an illness would look to restore balance. On a very simple level this is a bit like giving someone who is very cold something to warm them up. Information on the Theory of the Four Humours.
Medieval Medicine forms part of some GCSE History specifications. The Theory of the Four Humours is one of the most important aspects of the course. It is the primary belief from which much of modern medicine developed.