Greek Medicine is the traditional, indigenous holistic healing system of Western civilization. It was first codified and systematized by the Greek philosopher - physician Hippocrates in the 4th century B.C.E. and subsequently developed and expanded by other physicians, most notably Galen, Dioscorides and Avicenna.
In the Islamic world, Greek Medicine is known as Unani Medicine or Unani Tibb. "Unani" is the Arabic ord for "Ionian", or Greek.
Greek Medicine was the original source and inspiration for many other natural, holistic and alternative medical systems that developed in Europe and the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries, which include homeopathy, naturopathy and chiropractic. The exemplary life and teachings of its founder, Hippocrates have provided a shining source of inspiration to natural healers down through the ages.
As a traditional holistic healing system, Greek Medicine has a lot in common with Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. All these traditional medical systems seek to harmonize the health of the individual with the Universal Life Forces of Nature and the cosmos. Like Ayurveda, Greek Medicine is humorally and constitutionally based. Like Chinese Medicine, Greek Medicine seeks a balance, or homeostasis, between opposite yet complementary forces of Nature.
Greek Medicine is also the traditional medical system out of which modern medicine evolved. In the basic notions and concepts of Greek Medicine we can see the fundamental assumptions and orientations that have guided the development of modern medicine.
In the Enlightenment and the scientific and industrial revolutions that followed, the natural healing methods of Greek Medicine were gradually abandoned in favor of more synthetic, technological treatments and interventions. Also, the holistic orientation and traditional holistic healing wisdom of Greek Medicine were gradually abandoned in favor of the excessively analytical, reductionistic methods of modern science.
Modern man has become increasingly estranged from Nature. Modern technology threatens to overwhem and dehumanize us. A global environmental crisis threatens to annihilate our very existence on this planet and poses unprecedented challenges for the health of the individual. People around the world are desperately searching for something natural to heal their ills. Far from being an irrelevant, obsolete relic of the past, Greek Medicine is needed now more than ever.
It's highly ironic that Western man has been increasingly turning to the Orient in recent years for natural healing solutions when Western civilization has at its very roots a fine, outstanding holistic healing system of its own. The basic ideas, philosophies and archetypes that underly Greek Medicine are not foreign but rather indigenous to Western civilization and culture. And so, reviving Greek Medicine as a holistic healing system can have a profound healing and regenerative effect on Western civilization itself, and create a renewed appreciation and respect for our relationship with Nature. Greek Medicine offers a wealth of natural remedies, treatments and therapies to heal body, mind and spirit.
Modern medicine would benefit greatly by returning to its traditional Greek roots to recover the natural, holistic perspectives and virtues it has lost. This need not be done in a blind, uncritical manner, but rather with a discerning, integrative approach that synthesizes and combines the best of the old with the best of the new.