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During the Middle Ages the difference between what was real and what was paranormal was not always unambiguous This is especially seen in the perception of the cause of sickness as well as the unintelligible remedies believed to restore the health of suffering patients The underlying principles of medieval medicine were the four humors black bile yellow bile phlegm and blood The balance of these four allowed for a humans overall well-being The Humors The theory of the four humors arose out of Hellenic philosophy in an attempt to relate all things to universal laws Cameron 159 There are parallels drawn between specific aspects of the surrounding world The humors were frequently accredited to suitable seasons the ages of mankind and even the four Evangelists - Matthew Mark Luke and John Equilibrium and organization of the world was of extreme importance therefore the balance of humors within a human body was essential for health Balance of humors was achieved by diet medicines and phlebotomy DIET About ninety percent of the population in the feudal social system of medieval Europe could not afford profligate additions to their diets As a result the common medieval persons diet was comprised of wheat meat or fish depending on location MEDICINES The medicines in the Middle Ages took the form of herbal remedies In accordance with the humor theory most vegetation food substances and household items were specified as being hot cold wet or dry This allowed doctors to modify the amounts of humors within a person PHLEBOTOMY Phlebotomy was thought to be a form of surgery This belief was based on the idea that each organ within a human body had its own organ of origin and therefore letting the blood from a particular vein would affect a specific organ It was not enough that a patient be bled he must be bled from a proper vessel There was a theory that various internal organs were connected with
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