Category Archives: Medical

Bloodletting or Bleeding Bowls

Bloodletting or Bleeding Bowls

  Aren’t they pretty? Yes indeed! Too pretty, one might say, for what they were used for. A fair argument, of course, but then again, if one HAD to be bled, perhaps a lovely porcelain bowl with colorful pictures had a calming effect? Based on the illustration below, that idea falls flat. Or maybe it… CONTINUE READING…

Osteotome: the first chainsaw

Osteotome: the first chainsaw

Before general anesthetics were around, amputations were incredibly painful and dangerous. Bones often splintered and the tissue around the bone was damaged by the harsh impact of a hammer and chisel or the jolts of a saw. Surgeons needed to find a way to speed up the procedure and reduce the risk of complications. The… CONTINUE READING…

Sutures: A necessary, and ancient, medical art

Sutures: A necessary, and ancient, medical art

Sutures have a long and bizarre history, dating back to ancient Egypt, where everything from tree bark to hair was used to stitch human flesh back together again. Physicians have used suture to close wounds for at least 4,000 years. Archaeological records from ancient Egypt show that Egyptians used linen and animal sinew to close… CONTINUE READING…

History of the Barber’s Pole

History of the Barber’s Pole

Barber-surgeons were medical practitioners who provided a wide-range of services during the medieval and early modern periods of history. Traditionally, they were trained through apprenticeships, which could last as long as 7 years. Many had no formal education, and some were even illiterate. Barber-surgeons provided a variety of medical services for their communities. Moreover, because of… CONTINUE READING…

Apothecary

Apothecary

“O true Apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.” Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Apothecaries have existed in every culture through the ages. Thousands of years of herbal knowledge and experimentation aided the healers within the society. In most instances those who provided medicinal expertise were honored and recognized as essential. Unfortunately… CONTINUE READING…