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health

: Statues depicting the high dignitary Nefer and his wife (Abusir, Egypt).  Source: Martin Frouz and the Czech Institute of Egyptology, Charles University/Nature

Ancient Egyptian Scribes Suffered from Arthritis & Other Skeletal Pain

A fascinating study of the skeletal remains of ancient Egyptian scribes from the third millennium BC has revealed the physical costs of this job. While the type of work they did might seem relatively...
Roman Baths in Bath, England.

New Study Reveals Healing Properties of Water at Roman Baths in England

Few surviving Roman installations are as popular in England as the Roman Baths , which can be found in the appropriately named city of Bath, Somerset . Nearly 2,000 years after these public...
Bikini girls mosaic, Villa del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily, Italy

How Did Busy Ancient Greeks and Romans Keep Fit and Healthy?

By Konstantine Panegyres /The Conversation Many people today worry about how to find time to keep fit and healthy in the midst of their busy lives. Believe it or not, but this was also a problem in...
Head and shoulders of an Egyptian mummy

Ancient Mummies Reveal Heart Disease Is Not Just A Modern Ailment

Heart disease is often viewed as a modern malady, fueled by sedentary lifestyles, poor dietary habits, and the stresses of modern life. However, a groundbreaking study led by Saint Luke’s Mid America...
Representational image of Muslim achievements to science, medicine, philosophy and education. Source: mknisanci / Adobe Stock

“Historical Amnesia” Obscures Forgotten Achievements of Muslim Culture

In an article authored by Craig Considine and published in The Huffington Post , the veil is lifted on a profound historic oversight in some educational curriculums: the neglect of Muslim...
A mural from and ancient Egyptians tomb. Source: Svetlaili/Adobe Stock

Here’s How We Know Life in Ancient Egypt was Ravaged by Disease

Thomas Jeffries /The Conversation The mention of ancient Egypt usually conjures images of colossal pyramids and precious, golden tombs. But as with most civilizations, the invisible world of...
Representational image of Maya healing by a medicine man. Source: HaiderShah / Adobe Stock

Unlocking the Secrets of Maya Healing

At a time when human beings are suffering from a host of illnesses caused by stress and modern-day living, the need for ancient wisdom has never been more important. In fact, many people have become...
Stone age remnants from Bergsgraven in Linköping.                Source: Östergötland Museum/Stockholm University

Bacterial Diseases Were A Lethal Threat During the Stone Age

Bacterial poisoning via food and water – but also via contact such as kisses – caused a lot of suffering during the Stone Age. Diseases that today can be treated with antibiotics were then fatal, a...
Women spinning and socializing. From Augustine’s La Cité de Dieu. Source: Museum Meermanno/The Conversation

The Hidden Healers: Women's Secret Medieval Health Networks

Pragya Agarwal /The Conversation In the medieval period, medical science was still dominated by the ancient writings of Hippocrates from the fifth century and Galen of Pergamon from the second...
Cinnabar powder on human bones and beads in Valencina, site of Copper Age Mercury abuse.	Source: Álvaro Fernández Flores/ Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

Copper Age Settlement Shows Evidence of Accidental Ritual Mercury Abuse

Getting high off toxic solvents and chemicals to induce mind-altering effects is a public health concern today. But dial back 5,000 years, in the Iberian Peninsula, and groups of women adorned in...
Representational image of ancient healing medicinal practice. Source: dimensdesign / Adobe Stock

Ancient Healing Methods Offer an Alternative Paradigm in Health

As long as life has existed on earth, so have issues associated with maintaining health and the remediation of disease. Today, when many of us get sick, our first course of action is to call the...
Modern day woman with Down syndrome looking at you while group of girls practicing yoga in gym. Source: pressmaster/Adobe Stock

Signature of Down Syndrome Found in Ancient Humans

A brilliant and comprehensive new study has analyzed the DNA of almost 10,000 people from ancient and pre-modern societies, and found 6 cases of Down syndrome in past or ancient human populations...
Ancient human foraging for berries and edible plants in a dense forest. 	Source: Microgen/Adobe Stock

How Living Like a Hunter-gatherer Could Improve Your Health

By Nicholas Bourne /The Conversation Many of us want to live long, happy and healthy lives. Yet it’s often confusing to know the best way to achieve this, and many aspects of modern, westernized...
Statue of Socrates    Source: araelf/Adobe Stock

Did the Ancient Greeks and Romans Experience Alzheimer’s?

Leigh Hopper /University of Southern California You might think age-related dementia has been with us all along, stretching back to the ancient world. But a new analysis of classical Greek and Roman...
The people of Tournai bury victims of the Black Death, circa 1353. Source: Public Domain

Black Women Were Primary Victims of Black Death in Medieval London

When the Black Death or bubonic plague epidemic ravaged London between the autumn of 1348 and the spring of 1350, it may have wiped out as much as half the city’s population. While the victims of...
Vlad the Impaler cried real tears of blood. Source: Lama9838/CC BY-SA 3.0

Sadistic Vlad the Impaler Cried Real Tears of Blood, Study Reveals

Vlad Dracul, the infamous medieval Romanian ruler known as Vlad the Impaler and the inspiration for the character of Count Dracula , is considered one of the most bloodthirsty rulers in human history...
Curious bone growth on the femur of an adult female in Constância, Portugal. Source: ©Sandra Assis/International Journal of Paleopathology

Curious Bone Growth Found on Portuguese Skeleton Buried Centuries Ago

The skeletal remains of a woman who lived in Portugal between the 14th and 19th centuries show that she suffered a physical injury so severe that it caused an extraordinarily large growth to appear...
Throughout history probiotic bacteria has been used to attain good health, even if ancient cultures did not yet understand the science behind why they worked. Source: Dr_Microbe / Adobe Stock

Medicinal Microbes of Our Ancestors: Tracing the History of Probiotics

In order to understand the history of probiotics, one needs to imagine a time before modern medicine , when people looked to nature to heal their ailments. Many ancient civilizations consumed...
Medieval medicine understood that the placebo effect could induce self-healing. Source: GINGER_Tsukahara / Adobe Stock

Medieval Medicine Understood How the Placebo Effect Could Heal

Is it time to kill the term “placebo effect”? A researcher looking at questionable medieval medicines, that are today shunned as placebos, has shown how early physicians triggered patient’s brains...
A man in black shirt sitting and doing qigong with his hands directing his body's life energy or qi.        Source: Anna / Adobe Stock

The Ancient Chinese Healing Art of Qigong

Visit any park in China over the last few hundred years and you’re likely to see dozens of people practicing qigong. What started as a traditional Chinese treatment over 4,000 years ago has become a...
Ancient Egyptian mummy photographed at the archaeological museum of Florence. Source: Massimiliano / Adobe Stock

Ancient Egyptian Worker Took Sick Leave to Embalm his Mother

The British Museum houses a tablet which provides a peek into work-life balance in ancient Egypt. It documents the number of sick days and why 40 workers took time off from their workplace in 1250 BC...
Jan Steen - The Lovesick Maiden [c.1660]. Source: Gandalf’s Gallery/CC BY-SA 2.0

Fake It Til’ You Make it: A History of the Placebo Effect

One of the most fascinating medical phenomena is the placebo effect. In medicine, a placebo is considered to be any medical treatment that is not “real.” This could be a fake pill, shot, or in some...
Charles II had a deathbed obsession with King’s Drops, which were made using powdered human skulls. Source: papi8888 / Adobe Stock

The King’s Drops: Charles II, Powdered Skulls and a Deathbed Obsession

For all of Europe’s pretentions of progress with civil democracies and human rights, the archives are filled with anything but. From the blood of Roman gladiators being sold as a remedy for epilepsy...
Tutankhamun’s condom.	Source: Cairo Museum, Egypt

Tutankhamun Used Condoms Made from Oil-Soaked Linen

When Tutankhamun’s tomb was first discovered in 1922, archaeologist Howard Carter was stunned by the astonishing array of grave goods – more than 5,000 artifacts were left for the boy king to use in...

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