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Medicine is the science and practice of establishing the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences, biomedical research, genetics, and medical technology to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and disease, typically through pharmaceuticals or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints and traction, medical devices, biologics, and ionizing radiation, amongst others.

Medicine has been practiced since prehistoric times, during most of which it was an art (an area of skill and knowledge) frequently having connections to the religious and philosophical beliefs of local culture. For example, a medicine man would apply herbs and say prayers for healing, or an ancient philosopher and physician would apply bloodletting according to the theories of humorism. In recent centuries, since the advent of modern science, most medicine has become a combination of art and science (both basic and applied, under the umbrella of medical science). While stitching technique for sutures is an art learned through practice, the knowledge of what happens at the cellular and molecular level in the tissues being stitched arises through science.

Prescientific forms of medicine are now known as traditional medicine and folk medicine. They remain commonly used with, or instead of, scientific medicine and are thus called alternative medicine. As an example, evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture is "variable and inconsistent" for any condition, but is generally safe when done by an appropriately trained practitioner. In contrast, alternative treatments outside the bounds not just of scientific medicine, but also outside the bounds of safety and efficacy are termed quackery. This can encompass an array of practices and practitioners, irrespective of whether they are prescientific (traditional medicine and folk medicine) or modern pseudo-scientific, including chiropractic which rejects modern scientific germ theory of disease (instead believing without evidence that human diseases are caused by invisible subluxation of the bones, predominantly of the spine and less so of other bones), with just over half of chiropractors also rejecting the science of immunization.

Medicine Media

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Decorated letter from BL Harley 7586A, f. 2

Decorated letter from BL Harley 7586A, f. 2

Detail of the Hebrew letter ~shin~ decorated with foliate motifs, which served as a book plate of the patron Shabbetai ben Mattatya of Rome (see Narkiss, 1984). Image taken from f. 2 of Guide of the Perplexed (... more

Bathing ...by Beechams

Bathing ...by Beechams

Dressed in the popular ''sailor suits'', the children in this photograph seem to be enjoying themselves in the waves. Behind them are the wheeled bathing huts, which judging by the large advertising boards tha... more

Medicine dropper

Medicine dropper

Iran, Qasr-i Abu Nasr Sasanian

Buddha of Medicine (Bhasyajaguru)

Buddha of Medicine (Bhasyajaguru)

Goryeo dynasty (918–1392)

Foliate scroll from BL Add 14763, f. 167

Foliate scroll from BL Add 14763, f. 167

Decorated initial-word panel and foliate scroll between the two text columns. Image taken from f. 167 of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. the Guide of the Perplexed by Maimonides in Samuel ibn ... more

Division of the Red Sea from BL Add 14763, f. 135

Division of the Red Sea from BL Add 14763, f. 135

Illustration of the explanation about the division of the Red Sea, at chapter 5 of Maimonides' commentary on tractate Avot of the Mishnah: 'They [the waters] were divided into many paths equal to the number of ... more

Decorated panels from BL Add 14763, f. 117

Decorated panels from BL Add 14763, f. 117

Panels decorated with foliate scrolls around the text columns, and partial border, at the end of the Guide of the Perplexed and the colophon of the scribe. Image taken from f. 117 of Miscellany of philosophical... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 148

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 148

Decorated panel at the closure of a text column framing the end of Maimonides' ~Tehiyyat ha-metim~ (Epistle on the resurrection of the dead) and the colophon of the scribe. Image taken from f. 148 of Miscellany... more

Decorated panels from BL Add 14763, f. 118v

Decorated panels from BL Add 14763, f. 118v

Panels decorated with foliate scrolls, at Maimonides' treatise on ~Pereq Heleq~ (the tenth chapter of the mishnaic tractate, Sanhedrin). Image taken from f. 118v of Miscellany of philosophical works including e... more

Decorated panel and border from BL Add 14763, f. 163

Decorated panel and border from BL Add 14763, f. 163

Decorated panel around the initial words of Solomon ibn Gabirol's ~Keter malkhut~ (A Crown of Kingship) and partial border in the inner margin. Image taken from f. 163 of Miscellany of philosophical works inclu... more

Partial border from BL Add 14763, f. 201v

Partial border from BL Add 14763, f. 201v

Partial border between the two text columns, at the Hebrew translation of al-Farabi's ~Sefer Hathalot ha-Nimtzaot~ (The Book of Principles). Image taken from f. 201v of Miscellany of philosophical works includi... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 76

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 76

Decorated panel framing the closure of the text column, at Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed. Image taken from f. 76 of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. the Guide of the Perplexed by Maimonide... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 198

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 198

Decorated panel surrounding the closure of the text column at the end of the Hebrew translation of Aristotle's Meteorology (by Samuel ibn Tibbon). Image taken from f. 198 of Miscellany of philosophical works in... more

Division of the Red Sea from BL Add 14763, f. 135

Division of the Red Sea from BL Add 14763, f. 135

Detail of a page: illustration of the explanation about the division of the Red Sea, at chapter 5 of Maimonides' commentary on tractate Avot of the Mishnah: 'They [the waters] were divided into many paths equal... more

Decorated panel and border from BL Add 14763, f. 198v

Decorated panel and border from BL Add 14763, f. 198v

Decorated panel around the initial words of the Hebrew translation of al-Farabi's ~Sefer hathalot ha-nimtzaot~ (The Book of Principles) and partial border in the inner margin. Image taken from f. 198v of Miscel... more

Diagram from BL Add 14763, f. 190v

Diagram from BL Add 14763, f. 190v

Diagram of the four main winds, in Aristotle's Meteorology. Image taken from f. 190v of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. the Guide of the Perplexed by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's Hebrew t... more

Initial words from BL Add 14763, f. 134

Initial words from BL Add 14763, f. 134

Initial words decorated with blue and red flourishing. Image taken from f. 134 of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. the Guide of the Perplexed by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's Hebrew transla... more

Decorated initial-word panel from BL Add 14763, f. 167

Decorated initial-word panel from BL Add 14763, f. 167

Detail of a page: decorated initial-word panel and foliate scroll between the two text columns. Image taken from f. 167 of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. the Guide of the Perplexed by Maimoni... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 160

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 160

Decorated panel with foliate scroll at the closure of the text column framing the colophon of the scribe, Solomon, at the end of Samuel ibn Tibbon's ~Perush ha-milot ha-zarot~ (A glossary of foreign terms). Ima... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 117v

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 117v

Decorated panel and partial border, at the beginning of Maimonides' treatise on ~Pereq Heleq~ (the tenth chapter of the mishnaic tractate, Sanhedrin). Image taken from f. 117v of Miscellany of philosophical wor... more

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 165v

Decorated panel from BL Add 14763, f. 165v

Decorated panel around the closure of the text column, at the end of Solomon ibn Gabirol's ~Keter malkhut~ (A Crown of Kingship). Image taken from f. 165v of Miscellany of philosophical works including e. g. th... more

Colophon from BL Add 14763, f. 160

Colophon from BL Add 14763, f. 160

Detail of a page: dcorated panel with foliate scroll at the closure of the text column framing the colophon of the scribe, Solomon, at the end of Samuel ibn Tibbon's ~Perush ha-milot ha-zarot~ (A glossary of fo... more

Penwork embellishments from BL Harley 7586A, f. 27

Penwork embellishments from BL Harley 7586A, f. 27

Penwork embellishments accompanying the initial words and spreading to the entire length of the leaf. Image taken from f. 27 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's tra... more

Decorated letter from BL Harley 7586A, f. 2

Decorated letter from BL Harley 7586A, f. 2

Hebrew letter ~shin~ decorated with foliate motifs, which served as a book plate of the patron Shabbetai ben Mattatya of Rome (see Narkiss, 1984). Beneath, there are three acquisition notes in Hebrew from 1340,... more

Inhabited panel from BL Harley 7586A, f. 5v

Inhabited panel from BL Harley 7586A, f. 5v

Panel inhabited by a hybrid, accompanying the initial words of a section. Image taken from f. 5v of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's translation (ff. 3-169v); ~Per... more

Arcade from BL Harley 7586A, f. 63

Arcade from BL Harley 7586A, f. 63

Initial words framed by an arcade, at the beginning of the second part of the Guide. The arcade is decorated with geometrical, palmette and foliate motifs. Image taken from f. 63 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Mor... more

Penwork embellishments from BL Harley 7586A, f. 178

Penwork embellishments from BL Harley 7586A, f. 178

Penwork embellishments accompanying the initial words and spreading to the entire length of the leaf. Image taken from f. 178 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's tr... more

Arcade from BL Harley 7586A, f. 110

Arcade from BL Harley 7586A, f. 110

Initial words framed by an arcade, at the beginning of the third part of the Guide. The arcade is decorated with geometrical, palmette and foliate motifs. Image taken from f. 110 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Mor... more

Arcade from BL Harley 7586A, f. 63

Arcade from BL Harley 7586A, f. 63

Detail of initial words framed by an arcade, at the beginning of the second part of the Guide. The arcade is decorated with geometrical, palmette and foliate motifs. Image taken from f. 63 of Guide of the Perpl... more

Penwork embellishments from BL Harley 7586A, ff. 26v-27

Penwork embellishments from BL Harley 7586A, ff. 26v-27

Penwork embellishments spreading to the entire length of the leaves and inhabited by hybrids, at the beginning of various chapters. Image taken from ff. 26v-27 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Ma... more

Inhabited panel from BL Harley 7586A, f. 7v

Inhabited panel from BL Harley 7586A, f. 7v

Panel inhabited by a hybrid, accompanying the initial words of a section. Image taken from f. 7v of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's translation (ff. 3-169v); ~Per... more

Inhabited panel from BL Harley 7586A, f. 5

Inhabited panel from BL Harley 7586A, f. 5

Initial words accompanied by a panel inhabited by hybrids and a penwork embellishment, at the beginning of the Guide of the Perplexed. Image taken from f. 5 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimo... more

Coloured initial words from BL IO IsI 3679, f. 107v

Coloured initial words from BL IO IsI 3679, f. 107v

Text page with coloured initial words. Image taken from f. 107v of Guide of the Perplexed in Judeo-Arabic. Written in Judeo-Arabic.

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Sant Christoffels kraut; Orant allso genannt; Fisch bain die die goltschmid brauchent

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Wasser wegrich (Wasserwegerich)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Gaiszblatt (Geißblatt)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Sprebern (Eberesche); Sauwurtz (Sauwurz od. Enzian)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Fylcz kraut (Filzkraut)

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Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Naterwurcz (Knöterich)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

wilder knoblach (Wilder Knoblauch)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Cassia Fistula (Röhren-Kassie, Purgier-Kassie, Fisett-Kassie oder Indischer Goldregen)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Prunnenkretz (Brunnenkresse)

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Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Zytwan (verm. Kurkuma)

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Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Johannes blomen (Johannesblume)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Korn blomen (Kornblume)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Rot stainbrech (Roter Steinbrech)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Benedicten wurz (Benediktenwurz)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Nespelbaum (Echte Mispel)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ain gummi also genant (Penaeaceae)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Petersilgen (Petersilie)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ackelay (Akelei); Ebich (Eibisch)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Hagendorn (verm. Weißdorn)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Klain klet (Kleine Klette); Lorberbaum (Lorbeerbaum)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Granatopfel (Granatapfel)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Creutzbaum (Kreuzbaum); Rabenfusz (Rabenfuß)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ain gaisz; Krepsz - Ein Geiß; Krebs

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

wilde moren (Wilde Möhre)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

winttergrün (Wintergrün); Harstrang (Haarstrang)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Synauwe (Frauenmantel)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ain frucht (Myrobalane od. Kirschpflaume)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit
Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Merretich (Meerrettich)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Sandelholtz (Sandelholz)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit

Hünerderm nder mier (Hühnerdarm oder Gewöhnliche Vogelmiere)

Ink 24.E.13: Gart der Gesundheit