In the days before modern medical procedures, leeching blood was seen as a cure for many different ailments. Bloodletting, sometimes with leeches, was a practice that consisted of removing blood from the body, thereby restoring a person's health. From ancient times up through the late 1800s, people believed that diseases, especially those with symptoms like fevers and the sweats, were caused by having too much blood in the body. Leeches as medical treatment were used to remove the "harmful" blood in a graphic medical procedure. This led to many premature deaths, even of historic figures like George Washington and King Charles II. Even scarier, in medieval times, sometimes barbers performed the procedure.
Because we understand its applications better today, bleeding someone still has its uses, especially since leech therapy restores blood flow and helps those who have had fingers and even limbs reattached to their bodies.
Bloodletting Supposedly Originated In Ancient Egypt
Barbers Conducted Bloodletting Procedures, Which Is Why Barber Poles Have Red Stripes
Hippocrates Believed That Bloodletting Was One Method Of Keeping The Four Humors Balanced
In Ancient Greece, Leeches Were Placed On People's Gums, Lips, And Pregnant Stomachs
Doctors During The Medieval Era Believed That Leeches Could Cure Flatulence
The Catholic Church Refused To Let Monks And Priests Perform Bloodletting Procedures