Bloodletting has been employed since ancient times as a method to keep the body’s so-called four humors in balance. By the second millennium, the belief in the four humors began to decline, but bloodletting remained popular. Because surgery was still a crude practice, many physicians avoided it. Instead, people turned to the church for medical help. However, in 1163 a church edict by the Council of Tours forbade monks and priests to practice bloodletting.
Barbers performed a wide variety of functions at that time. In addition to cutting hair, a barber might pull teeth, perform surgery on minor wounds, amputate limbs or administer leeches. Already prepared with the tools needed to perform venesection, barbers developed a thriving bloodletting practice from 1100 to 1500. This included the development of barber organizations, entrance into schools to learn the trade and a distinguishing symbol, the barber pole.
As more was learned about surgery, a transition began from barbers to more experienced physicians performing bloodletting. By the 1800s, the popularity of bloodletting had reached an all-time high. Multiple methods of administration were detailed in medical books, from dry cupping to scarification, venesection and arteriotomy.
In areas considered too constricted or in patients too weak for the usual methods of bloodletting, leeches were considered useful. Rubbing the skin with sugar-water, milk or blood would persuade the leech to bite after which it would suck blood until gorged.
Leeches could be applied to the anus and rectum for relief of abdominal inflammations such as hepatitis, enteritis and puerperal fever; to the mucous membrane of the nose to relieve chronic nose bleeds; and sometimes to the vagina to stimulate menstrual flow. Detailed methods were developed for the administration of leeches to almost any body part. For example, a physician might tie a string to a leech to avoid suffocation when attaching a leech to a patient’s tonsils.
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. I
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The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700 – 1700 a.d.
525 pgs + 163 pix = 1,000s of FACTS!
- ISBN-10: 1943820015
- ISBN-13: 978-1943820016
ALL 3 VOLUMES ARE NOW AVAILABLE!
Kicked Out Of Heaven Vol. I: The Untold History of The White Races; cir. 700-1700 a.d. is a 3 volume series that details everything about European society and mentality. In this edition you will find these facts: 100 pound hail stones, Sex in The Streets, Cuckolds in Poems Molly Houses, The Orders of Beggars, Torture, Medicinal Cannibalism, Food: Black Puddings & Eel Pie, Bathed Once a Year, Bloodthirsty Knights, Government Sanctioned Prostitution, Infants fed wine, Cross Dressing Men, Gang Raping Teenagers, Incest Marriages, Insane Kings & Queens, The Bastard Children, Condoms, Dildos, & Birth Control & A Long List of Infanticide. There’s Many Many More Odd Facts Inside!