bloodletting

An antiquated practice used in many cultures as a medical treatment. Historically, leeches and lancing were used to “let” blood from the body. Blood was believed to be the carrier or location of illness or – as in medieval Europe – ill humors. By purging the “infected” blood, a body was supposed to recover health. Modern comprehension of medicine and disease have made bloodletting obsolete.

For Talmudic rules on performing and recovering from bloodletting, refer to the Jewish Encyclopedia. For a history of blood-letting, refer to Wikipedia.

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