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Hippocrates - Medicine and HealthHippocrates - Medicine and Health


Hippocrates (460-370 BC)


Doctor in Ancient Greece (pictured right).

Known as the father of medicine.

Doctors today still follow his Hippocratic Oath, promising to care for their patients and never hurt or injure them.

What did he say about physical and mental health?

 Hippocrates - Medicine and Health

1. Put your health first


  • learn from illness to prevent it happening again.
  • avoid excessive eating and drinking.
  • exercise in moderation (“Walking is man’s best medicine”, he said).

“Health is the greatest of human blessings”, he said.


2. Keep busy

Evil results from “idleness and lack of occupation”.

 Hippocrates - Medicine and Health

3. Listen to good advice

Rely on scientific knowledge from doctors, not people’s opinions.

“Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance”, he said.


4. Life is short, so make the most of itHippocrates - Medicine and Health

It takes a long time to learn a trade or profession (like medicine), but you don’t have very long to live.

This is what he meant by:

Life is short, the art long.

This phrase was used by Henry Longfellow (pictured right), in his poem, A Psalm of Life.


Key quotes on health

The doctor must be able to...do good or do no harm.

Everything in excess is opposed to nature.

Health is the greatest of human blessings.

Walking is man’s best medicine.

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity

To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy.

If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.


Key quote on science

Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.


Key quote on careers

Life is short, the art long.


Key quote on religion

Prayer is indeed good, but while calling on the gods a man should himself lend a hand.

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