black bile


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Related to black bile: yellow bile

black bile

n.
One of the four humors of ancient and medieval physiology, supposed to cause melancholy when present in excess.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ficino claims that learned men are especially susceptible to melancholy, either from birth, or because their intellectual efforts and inactivity, 'in the rest of the body', eventually make them secrete 'black bile, which they call melancholy'.
These elements were linked to the four seasons and also to the four "humours" inside each human being: yellow bile, black bile, blood and phlegm.
"But I started bringing up all this black bile and I simply couldn't sustain any water.
After an initial round of coction in the stomach, Galenic medicine asserted that there was a secondary process of coction in the liver that formed all the humors sequentially: Blood first, then Phlegma, Bile and finally Black Bile. If this secondary digestive process was only partially completed the metabolic wastes create catarrh, hence the obvious association between Phlegma and the vast array of cold, moist, congestive infections from sinusitis to athlete's foot.
With integrity the theory of balance and imbalance in the body system (i.e., the four body humors being out of whack) produced such interventions as bloodletting, sweating, urinating, defecating, vomiting, and other methods of purging to restore the balance between blood, phlegm, bile, and black bile. Of these methods, the best practice soon became bloodletting, whereas vomiting, urinating, and defecating fell into disfavor.
(31) In the Qanun, Ibn-Sina elaborates several symptoms of melancholia resulting from black bile, including a "constant melancholic anxiety, and a constant looking at only one thing, and at the earth"; "the body's blackness, its dryness"; "a scarcity of digestion because of the coldness of the melancholic condition"; and "sleeplessness" and "sluggishness in the sun." (32) Other possible symptoms included an obsession with death, strange food cravings, the desire for coitus, a longing for solitary places such as graveyards, and an attraction to darkness, shadows, and the moon.
Standard dogma through antiquity for close on a millennium was that all tumours resulted from an inflammatory process caused by an abnormal flux of tumours, in which an excess of black bile was crucial.
Classical Greece had a similar philosophy of cuisine (probably imported from China) and named four humors (blood black bile yellow bile phlegm) and their essences (heat cold dry moist).
The term "melancholia" has been endlessly discussed across various cultures throughout the centuries, using the theory of humorism, whereby Greek and Roman physicians contended that the human body consists of four humors: Black Bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, speculated that there were four humors--fluids--in the body: yellow bile, red bile, black bile and phlegm.
Lazure says April Fools Day is all about humiliation and notes that in the medical field the four humors were identified as black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood.
Even though scientists and doctors at that time no longer believed illness to be a result of an imbalance of the body's four humors (black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood) and knew that germs caused many diseases, they originally believed this pandemic was due to a bacteria, not a virus.