History of medicine

All human societies have medical beliefs that provide explanations for birth, death, and disease. Throughout history, illness has been attributed to witchcraft, demons, adverse astral influence, or the will of the gods. These ideas still retain some power, with faith healing and shrines still used in some places, although the rise of scientific medicine over the past millennium has altered or replaced many of the old beliefs.
Although there is no record to establish when plants were first used for medicinal purposes (herbalism), the use of plants as healing agents was depicted in the cave paintings discovered in the Lascaux caves in France, which have been radiocarbon dated to between 13,000 and 25,000 BC. Over time and with trial and error, over the generations a small knowledge base developed, as tribal culture developed into specialized areas. Shamans performed the 'specialized jobs' of healing.