Tag Archives: humors

Experimental evidence for the humoral circulatory system

Mark A. Gray  Kansas City, Kansas   Four Humors from the Book of Alchemy by Thurn-Heisser, Leipzig, Germany (1574). Source Humoralism, otherwise known as Hellenistic or Galenic medicine, posited the existence of four humors that were required to be kept in balance to maintain health. Blood was special among these humors, believed to deliver both […]

Blood, black bile, yellow bile, phlegm: an inseparable balance?

John Graham-Pole Clydesdale, NS, Canada   Visiting the Island of Cos, Greece, 2013 Left: Under the plane tree; top: Hippocratic humors; right: Temple of Cos; bottom: Greek friend bearing sage Life blood: Humor and health In 1960, I entered St. Bartholomew’s Medical School on a full classics scholarship. I was a devotee of Hippocrates, with […]

Aristotle and the four humors

Aristotle is one of the greatest philosophers of all time. He has influenced human thought for almost 2500 years and many of his works are as relevant today as they were in the days of ancient Greece. Students of his philosophical works are likely to be familiar with his Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, Rhetoric, and Poetics, […]

Alcmaeon of Croton, philosopher physician

Steph Magowan Royal Holloway, University of London   Alcmaeon of Croton remains one of the lesser known Presocratic writers, not only because of the sparse nature of his extant work but also because of his fragmentary treatment in modern scholarship. He is mentioned in passing but rarely fully examined, often even excluded entirely in work […]