In 1666, Thomas Willis recommended on the highest authority to tie live frogs to lanced inguinal buboes of the bubonic plague for a sure cure. During the Dark Ages, Teutonic women were brought into battle to heal soldiers by bloodsucking. After the death of his wife, President Andrew Jackson was known to bleed himself of at least a cup of blood, several times a week, in hopes of curing his chronic health problems and depression.
Questionable medical practices have been alongside that which truly heals for as long as recorded. Of course there are as many (if not more) quack practices now than ever, but the most fascinating medical practices and concepts about how the body and world works come from the past- both distant and not-so-distant.
I love reading about medicine and biology from the past, and learning about old theories. The ephemeral illustrations and diagrams are just as great, if not even better. This is a blog of old anatomical text clippings, illustrations from old biological guides, and posts of things I’ve learned about incredibly odd (and sometimes incredibly harmful) theories and treatments. Enjoy, and don’t forget to renew your frogs when they die!