Wizards can “mend broken bones in a trice,” and they can regrow teeth (easily, apparently) and bones (with more difficulty).
Personally, I doubt thatThey certainly have a good understanding of the skeleton and there is no evidence that their knowledge of the rest of human anatomy should be much worse.Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
Nor do I see any evidence to support the theory thatNone of the healers in the books make any reference to the humours or to keeping the body in balance.Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
Personally, I think that cutting people open is barbaric and, for most Doctors, it’s a last resort.Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
I disagree. Healers aren’t Doctors. The simplest explanation (in my opinion) is to assume that their name is their job description; wizards seem to be literal.Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
The human body is (usually) very good at repairing itself. Left untreated, even broken bones will mend, though not particularly well. Muggle “complimentary medicines” from acupuncture to homeopathy don’t actually do anything, they simply rely on the fact that the human body tends to repair itself over time.
In my opinion, healers use magic and potions to encourage the body to repair itself, they speed up the natural repair process and encourage re-growth of things that human medicine “knows” can’t be re-grown. That could (possibly) even include a cure for cancer, but I’d be happy to argue either way if there was a good story in it.
What healers can’t do is improve on the pre-existing conditions. If you’re born with poor eyesight, or poor hearing, you’re stuck with it. If you’re deaf, and your ear is chopped off by a sword, the healers can re-grow the ear, but you’ll still be deaf. The same applies to eyes (sorry ahattab33) or even a congenital heart condition. I’d argue that magic is better than medicine except with regard to “birth defects” (this would also explain JKR’s (later deleted) reference to a witch with a hare lip in CoS).
Longevity could similarly be explained by assuming that wizards repair mechanisms are better than Muggles, and their cells degenerate more slowly. With this logic it might be possible for a wizard to live with the natural degeneration of old age, creaking bones etc., for decades. This, too, could explain why Ron's great Aunt Muriel is always in such a bad mood.