Tag Archives: menstrual blood

Bloodletting and the treatment of menstrual disorders in early modern England

Rhianna Elliott Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom   Figure 1. Title page: Culpeper’s school of physick (London, 1659). Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY. Source Bloodletting, also known as “phlebotomy,” was a common preventive and therapeutic medical practice in early modern England. Its theoretical foundation was in humorism, the ancient medical system where bodily health depended on the […]

A history of blood: hysteria, taboos, and evil

Danielle Dalechek Norfolk, Virginia, United States   The witch no. 1. Joseph E Baker. c1892. Library of Congress. No known restrictions on publication. “Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood?”  —Carl Jung   Historically, the opposite of purity was often viewed and represented as […]

“Blood made White”: the relationship between blood and breastmilk in early modern England

Jennifer Evans Sara Read United Kingdom   Womb (uterus), enlarged, Hendrik Bary, after Reinier de Graaf, 1672, Rijksmuseum. The early modern body was thought to be composed of and ordered by an intricate balance of fluids, the most important of which was blood. Blood was universally understood to have two origins: the heart and the […]