The control of pain had been a major barrier to the development of more complex types of surgical intervention, and the discovery of anesthesia thus became one of the greatest discoveries in the history of medicine.
The treatment of wounds has never been standardized, and in fact many different formulae remain available today to physicians for the care of traumatized tissue. The ancient Egyptians may have unknowingly been the first to use an antibiotic (penicillin) when they packed wounds with moldy bread. They also treated superficial lesions with coagulated milk and honey wrapped in a muslin dressing. Honey was later used as an antibacterial in wound healing by such diverse cultures as the Romans in Europe, Africa tribesman, Indians, and by Native Americans.