Tag Archives: phlebotomy

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 […]

Control of blood

E. C. Spary United Kingdom Figure 1. Blood spurting from the neck of a decapitated human sacrifice in this bas-relief on the wall of this Mayan temple at Chichen Itza (Yucatan, Mexico) transforms into snakes, indicating its connection to power, life and death. Blood, that vivid liquid within our bodies, has an attraction for human […]

Bloody beginnings of hematology

Sherin Jose Chockattu Bengaluru, India Bloodletting in 1860 – one of only three known photographs of the procedure. This photo is from the Burns Archive collection. Source His pole, with pewter basins hung, Black, rotten teeth in order strung, Rang’d cups that in the window stood, Lin’d with red rags, to look like blood, Did […]

Training wheels

Shannon Kernaghan Alberta, Canada   Image designed by Kraven Cache. All rights belong to artist Kraven Cache. Permission to use this illustration is granted January 8, 2020. From the beginning of Paul’s dance with doctors, I have sat next to him and squeezed his hand through the pronouncement of hemochromatosis. The first doctor said his […]

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?: Erzsébet Báthory and the curative power of blood in medieval Europe

Joanna Smolenski New York, United States If the body is seen either as enclosed and filled with blood, or as vulnerable and bleeding, then blood can also only be interpreted either as life (when it fills the intact body) or as death (when it has left the body). (Bildhauer 2006: 5) In medieval Europe, blood […]