These days, all people are worried about the topic of medicine and healthcare. And what do you know about what medicine was like during the times of Kievan Rus? How did our ancestors strengthen their health a thousand years ago?
The first written mentions of medicine in Kievan Rus appeared in the 11th century. It can be considered that by this time a health care system was formed, under which there were three main forms of healing: folk medicine, monastic medicine and secular medicine.
1. Of course, the air in Kiev a thousand years ago was incomparably cleaner. Therefore, today the lungs need a fresh breath of air away from the city. Doctors recommend every week to go out of town, into the green zone, and take a break from exhaust gases, tar, which are crowded with the streets of megalopolises. An example of such a resting place is the “Kievan Rus Park” in the Kiev region, in the village of Kopachov. There are no factories or factories near the historical and cultural complex, the place is surrounded by forests and fields. And outdoor recreation is also combined with knowledge of the history of Ancient Kiev and various entertainment.
2. Everyone knows about the quackery of Kievan Rus and about the treatment with potions. Herbal infusions are useful both when used internally and as inhalation. A decoction of violets with oregano, which is used internally, is useful for cleansing the lungs.
In Kievan Rus, older women, who were called medicines or herbalists, were usually engaged in herbal treatment. They prepared powders from herbs and tinctures. Various minerals, plants (wormwood, nettle, plantain), as well as honey, milk, fat and internal organs of animals were used for treatment. Knowledge was passed on orally from generation to generation. In addition to the potions were spells and spells.
The doctors were so trusted that not only commoners, but also princes and members of princely families turned to them for help. However, the healers were afraid, as they feared that they could turn the mysteries of nature not only for good, but also to the detriment of man.
3. Inhalation also helps to clear the lungs. Moreover, they do not need to buy special equipment – it is enough that every housewife has at home. It is necessary to boil a special herbal mixture for inhalation in a saucepan. Inhale hot steam over a saucepan, covered with a blanket. Which fee to choose – it is better to consult a doctor.
4. It is interesting to know that in addition to practical actions, our ancestors used faith in the “treatment”, and also mentally set themselves up for recovery. Folk healing is based on knowledge about the healing properties of natural remedies and belief in supernatural powers. It was believed that rituals addressed to pagan deities were able to drive away the disease. In those days, people believed that the cause of the disease was the actions of evil spirits, and amulets were used to prevent diseases. Magi, as well as healers and witches, sorcerers were engaged in such healing. Healers were engaged not only in medicine, but also in the performance of various magical love spells, cuffs, fortune telling, removing damage, etc.
5. From the end of the 10th century, after the adoption of Christianity by Kievan Rus, monasteries began to appear throughout its territory, especially in large cities. With the support of the princely power, the monasteries of Kievan Rus became economically stronger, becoming not just religious institutions, but centers of educational, charitable, social activities.
At this time, monastery medicine began to emerge. Monks in those days were convinced that diseases are given as punishment for sins, and sometimes were caused by the introduction of demons into the human soul and body. Hence, healing from illness was seen as the forgiveness of God and the remission of sins. Monastic hospitals were called “hospitals”. The first mentions of them date back to the XI century. The most famous of them are the hospital in Pereslavl, founded in 1091 by the Metropolitan of Kiev Ephraim, and the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, founded in 1051 by the monks Anthony and Theodosius.
It is known that in monasteries they knew how to heal many diseases – from infectious to mental. Within the walls of the monasteries there were rooms like isolation wards, where individual care for seriously ill patients was provided.
Among the most famous healers who practiced in the Lavra is Saint and Blessed Agapius, a former monk of the Lavra. He is known for curing the grandson of Yaroslav the Wise, who later became the prince of Russia, and went down in history as Vladimir Monomakh.
The monasteries were treated free of charge, the patients were tolerated, with love and even self-sacrifice.
Monastic hospitals were also centers of education. The clergy, being the highly educated intellectual elite of their time,