FAQ :: What were some medical practices during biblical times?

  • In the area of personal hygiene, myrtle, saffron, myrrh, and spikenard were used.
  • Olive oil and the balm of Gilead were used to heal wounds.
  • Wine and myrrh were mixed together as a painkiller.
  • Mandrake roots were used to help a woman conceive.
  • Broken bones were tightly bound.
  • A hole was drilled in the skull to relieve pressure.
  • Midwives were used to assist during births (as they still are sometimes today).
  • A poultice of figs was heated and applied to boils.
  • Frankincense and myrrh were used to stop bleeding.

In Old Testament times, priests and prophets had responsibility for a large amount of the medical care of the people. For example, the priests performed the cleansings after childbirth and for leprosy. By the time of the New Testament, physicians were in full-practice and were trained in medical schools that taught anatomy and basic medical treatments.