Long before there was ibuprofen readily available, or before penicillin was a widespread notion, people looked for cures of daily ailments in the weirdest of places. They would chew herbs, drink mysterious potions, and…eat human flesh?
Yes, that’s right. In the 17th century, Europeans were hardcore medicinal cannibals.
Europeans from all walks of life, from clergymen to royalty would routinely take medicine in which the most common ingredient was human body parts. For the most part, it was powdered mummy parts, though ‘fresher’ human meat was also encouraged.
It all started with Egyptian mummies. European doctors would grind up mummy parts into tinctures, which would be ingested to stop internal bleeding. The skull was a common cure for headaches; it would be ground up and ingested in its powdered form.
Sometimes it would be mixed with chocolate, as a hot drink to cure apoplexy or bleeding. King Charles II even created his own mixture, which he called “The King’s Drops,” which was made up of human skull powder mixed with alcohol.
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