Table of contents:
- What books were used for treatment in Russia
- Causes of a huge number of diseases among peasants
- Bad wind and poisonous dew were considered the cause of many diseases
- Disease like the machinations of the devil
- Skepticism about drugs and doctors
Video: Why did they talk to diseases in Russia, what is the "bad wind" and other facts about medicine in the old days
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
Previously, people did not trust doctors, and medicine in general left much to be desired. In Russia, the magi were engaged in healing, and over time their place was taken by healers. They gained knowledge through trial and error, through the transfer of experience from generation to generation, as well as with the help of records in various herbalists and healers. Often, in their treatment, the doctors of those times resorted to various magical rites and rituals, which in our time sound, so to speak, very strange. Interestingly, in the old days, diseases were often presented in different guises.
What books were used for treatment in Russia
To understand how and how people were treated in those days, it is enough to look into the old herbalists and healers, which describe in detail various methods of healing from various diseases and ailments. Before the adoption of Christianity in villages, magicians were usually engaged in healing, and after that, church ministers. Various herbs with medicinal properties were grown on the territory of the churches. They were mainly insisted on by various decoctions, with which the patients were treated.
After some time, healers began to treat people, and not only for bodily diseases, but also for an internal emotional state. To protect themselves from diseases, people carried with them various protective amulets, presented in the form of animals, daggers, knives, as well as other figures and forms.
Healers and herbalists in those days were considered some kind of medical reference books, which described human diseases, human structure, advice on a correct and healthy lifestyle, therapeutic massages, methods of rubbing the body, and so on. Interestingly, in those days, the evil eye and damage were considered one of the most important causes of human diseases, therefore, such reference books indicated the means by which one could dispel witchcraft.
The most interesting thing is that people used to trust healers more than medicine, which was gradually developing. But people believed that no one could help them better than a healer, because diseases, in their opinion, were a punishment for sins or damage. In addition, they believed that the doctor could destroy their soul or subtract their age. Therefore, in the first place, they fled for help to folk healers, who often used terrifying methods.
Causes of a huge number of diseases among peasants
Often in Russia, diseases were not compared with the real reasons for their appearance, but attributed to dark forces. Moreover, the disease itself was often considered a living being. But the quality of food and water, cleanliness of the house, proper nutrition and other important aspects were not paid due attention. This was especially reflected in the elderly and children who did not receive proper care.
For example, children were fed bread almost from birth, believing that thanks to this the child would grow up big and strong. And as soon as the baby could eat from a spoon, they began to feed him with various raw vegetables and drink kvass. Naturally, the baby's body was not yet ready for adult and heavy food. This was one of the reasons for the rather high mortality rate in childhood at that time.
Adults also suffered from malnutrition. But here it was not only a lack of knowledge of the basics of a correct diet, but mostly due to hard work and a lack of variety in food. Basically, the peasants had bread on the table, cereals of not the best quality, potatoes, vegetables. Fish and meat were considered a luxury, so they rarely ended up on the table in the villages.
The situation was especially aggravated in the spring, when stocks were coming to an end, and the new harvest had not yet ripened. Due to the lack of vitamins, many ailments developed and worsened, in especially acute situations such serious diseases as scurvy spread.
The conditions in which the peasants lived also left much to be desired. Large families lived in small houses, and sometimes young cattle were also raised there. So calves, chickens, lambs could live with people. Accordingly, it was possible to forget about sterility and purity of the air.
In winter, houses were often frozen through, as they already required good repairs. Due to the fact that the house could not be heated well, they often caught cold in Russia. In the summer, the situation in the fields was different, because of the heat, people suffered from headaches and fainting. But people associated all this with dark forces, and not with the conditions of life and work.
Bad wind and poisonous dew were considered the cause of many diseases
In Russia, many diseases, especially pulmonary and colds, were associated with cold weather. It was believed that all these ailments appeared from hypothermia and "bad wind", which was generally considered a distributor of infections, capable of completely mowing down the village. And the dew was blamed for the cholera epidemic, believing that it was poisoned and infected the entire crop.
In the old days, the internal organs of a person were studied only relying on the anatomy of animals that were butchered. People often confused the location of the organs. For example, they could easily complain of heart pains, showing in the abdomen. All internal physiological processes in the human body were considered a secret of God, which ordinary mortals cannot comprehend.
It was believed that many diseases are associated with blood, so many diseases, even not the most significant, were treated with bloodletting. This was done so that the sick and bad blood left the human body, thereby purifying and healing it.
Disease like the machinations of the devil
In Russia, they believed that all ailments are living beings temporarily in a person. They even talked with diseases, asked them to retreat or answer questions of interest to the patient. It was believed that diseases mainly live in swamps, lakes and seas. People believed that ailments attack a person in the dark and live in him until he finds another victim.
Basically, diseases were presented, like witches, in the form of beautiful young girls or scary old women. In total, there were twelve such women who were each responsible for their own ailment: the first was insomnia, the second was blood spoilage, the third was loss of appetite, and so on. And in some villages, diseases were presented not in human form, but in an animal, for example, a snake, frog, hedgehog, and so on, depending on the type of disease.
By the way, one of the versions of the origin of the word "fever" is connected precisely with an ailment in the guise of a woman who is famously happy that she was able to settle down with a man, dooming him to various torments. People believed that the fever transmitted the disease when kissing or turning into a fly flew into the mouth or food.
Even in the old days, people believed that if there were epidemics, then it was God's punishment for the sins of people. Therefore, people prayed more than were treated, as they believed that medicine would not help here. The second version was that all ailments are the tricks of the devil, so there is not always hope for healing.
Also, various injuries were considered the intrigues of the devil. For example, if a horse kicked, then the demon possessed it. If a person kills his opponent during a fight, then this is also a demon's addiction. Or, when a person had attacks of epilepsy or insanity, then definitely this devil beats in the human body.
Skepticism about drugs and doctors
The peasants were distrustful of doctors and medicines, especially since each family had its own ways of curing a sick person. People believed that with sweat the ailment leaves a person, so often most ailments were treated with a bath, whether it was the evil eye or a fever, and at any age.
Lying on a warm stove was also considered a good remedy: the patient was laid on it with his stomach, rubbing his skin with fat, lard or radish. If it was not possible to overcome the ailment by these methods, then even then they turned to healers for help.
They also often resorted to various mystical methods of treatment. For example, with the help of coal, a blade or a knife, they outlined a magic circle of tumors and various skin diseases, thereby protecting healthy parts of the body from further spread of ailments.
Since many diseases were considered God's punishment, prayers and confessions before the relics of saints and miraculous icons were a good way to heal. Each family had a miraculous list of prayers against various fevers, which they not only read constantly, but also carried with them as a talisman.
It was believed that you can get rid of ailments by transferring it to another person, animal, tree or water. Often they resorted to this method when children were ill. For this ritual, they found the strongest and youngest tree in the depths of the grove, cut a through hole in it and dragged the sick child through it. Also, the baby's illness was often transferred to water. To do this, they salted bread, recited miraculous spells and prayers, throwing it into the river.
It was considered a good way to scare a sick person with loud, frightening sounds, for example, knocking, screaming or shooting. It even happened that blows were inflicted directly on the body of a sick person. They also resorted to dousing with ice water. After all, it was believed that the disease is a living being, so it could get scared and retreat from a person. To speed up this process, the sick person was given bitter and disgusting drinks.
Healing in the villages and villages was mainly practiced by healers. They read medicinal conspiracies and watered them with decoctions of medicinal herbs. It was also believed that the clothes left over from the rites of baptism and naming have magical powers and help heal the patient. Therefore, sick people and children were often dressed in ceremonial clothes or simply put a person on top. Mental illnesses were healed by priests in the church, as it was believed that due to corruption a demon had infiltrated them. They were healed with the help of prayers at the miraculous icons.
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