Monday, September 8, 2014

Mummies, Cannibals, And Vampires: The History Of Corpse Medicine From The Renaissance to The Victorians

What are you willing to do to be healthy, or rejuvenate yourself? Mummies, Cannibals, and Vampires discusses corpse medicine, and how people thought it would cure many ills. Powdered mummy was thought to cure many illnesses. Blood from a healthy individual was also thought to cure many things. Some of the common corpse medicines that were used were: mummies-usually powdered, blood from either a living or dead person, urine, feces, ground up bones, breast milk, dried and ground up organs.

It was interesting to read that some people swore by corpse medicine while others clearly did not believe in it, or were too grossed out by it to use it. There are clear cases when the doctor did not tell the patient exactly what was in the medicine they prescribed, or gave it a different name. It was slightly appalling to read this when you realize you simply trust your doctor and pharmacist to give you what they are claiming is in your medicine.

I won a free copy of this book from Rutledge History*, and it was everything I was hoping it would be and more. There were times that I felt absolutely disgusted reading what went into some of these medicines. It was surprising that so many people were able to take these medicines without vomiting. Setting aside personal taste, even some of the doctors wrote of the horrible stench some of these medicines gave off. I learned a lot while reading this book, and had a great time reading it.

Mummies, Cannibals, and Vampires provides actual accounts of people drinking blood of both the living and the dead, people grinding up mummies to eat, and consuming flesh of humans in various forms all in the hope of becoming healthier or prolonging their own lives. At times it was a bit horrifying to read, but it was very well written. There was never a dull moment when reading this book.

I highly recommend reading this book.

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a book I would not have gotten to read as soon or heard about otherwise.

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