A-Z: General definitions: Four Humours


A medical theory, thought to originate from Aristotle and developed by Hippocrates. It was adopted by the Greeks and Romans and used by European doctors until the nineteenth century. It states that there are four humours (liquids) in the body; black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood. The belief was that a body was healthy when the humours were in balance but diseases and disabilities would arise when there was an excess or deficiency in one of the humours.

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