Ancient Egypt
Medicine in Ancient Egypt

Medicine in Ancient Egypt
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     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.12

     challenging words:    anesthetics, contraceptive, gynecology, highest-ranking, anatomical, canopic, juniper, aromatic, henna, confidential, spells, supposedly, serving, superstitious, curse, afterlife
     content words:    Ancient Egypt, Ancient Egyptians

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Medicine in Ancient Egypt
By Phyllis Naegeli

1     We have quite a bit of information about ancient Egyptian medicine. Physician's manuals have been found to tell us what they did for the sick and injured. Although many of the treatments included magic, ancient Egyptians used herbs and other remedies to treat many disorders.
2     Religion, magic, and medicine were closely related in Ancient Egypt. Some priests were specially trained as physicians to care for the sick, injured, and mentally ill. Physicians were held to a high standard of ethics. Patients were treated with respect, and their personal information was highly confidential. The highest-ranking doctors were priests of the goddess Sekhmet, who controlled plagues and illnesses. Physicians spent a part of each year serving the goddess. Doctors were thought to be close to the gods and able to ask them for healing.
3     Temples were centers for healing. When a person was ill, he or she would come to the temple or call for a doctor for a diagnosis. An obvious problem was treated with medicine, prayer, and magic. If a clear cause was not discovered, the diagnosis would usually be attributed to an evil spirit or curse. The physician would use magic spells or amulets (magic charms) to bring about a cure. Occasionally a diagnosis could not be reached. In this case, a patient would be told to rest for a period of time until another examination could be performed.

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