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Practitioners in Medieval Europe believed in the existence of four humors: sanguine, choler, phlegm, and melancholy. The physicians thought that illness was caused, primarily, by an imbalance of the humors (Wallace).
Each of the four humors was given specific qualities. Choler was dry and hot, melancholy was dry and cold, sanguine was moist and hot, and phlegm was moist and cold. Another property sometimes associated with the humors was color. Such as red for sanguine, and yellow for choler. This association of color and humors eventually became known as the Doctrine of Signatures which taught that "the color of flowers and other properties of plants indicated their usefulness in treating particular diseases" (Wallace). One example of this would be using yellow buttercups to control choler, to cure jaundice (Wallace).
The physician and practitioners believed that "balance of humors in humans was achieved by diet, medicines, and phlebotomy" (Krzywicka). Changing diet was very popular in the lower c
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Wallace, Choler, Krzywicka,
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