Have you ever wondered how diagnosis and medical treatment were back in the medieval period? A rare 15th-century book says doctors resorted to bizarre methods like urine tasting and bloodletting to diagnose or cure diseases.
The rare book, Fasciculus medicinae, which literally means the "little bundle of medicine" was reportedly printed first in 1491 by a pair of Venetian brothers who brought together a group of medical treatises and added illustrations to the book, according to a report in online magazine Hyperallergic.
People can now delve into the bizarre takes on medicine mentioned in the book which is now, presented in an online exhibition launched by the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) Library titled Facendo Il Libro.
In the 21st-century, zodiac signs are mostly used for future-telling, but the book the reveals that it was not so in the past. It was apparently used by medical practitioners to treat their patients.
Illustrated nude figure in the book suggests which body part corresponds to which sign and after calculating the phases of the moon, the doctors would draw patient's blood from the body part in question.
The book also provides detailed illustrations covering an array of medical issues. It includes a urine color chart and a pregnant anatomical female figure.
A diagram of urine in glasses in the shape of a wheel reveals that it was used to help a physician diagnose a patient's disease based on the color, smell, and sometimes even taste of the urine. Post that, there's a segment on bloodletting or phlebotomy.
The book was reportedly very popular, which is why there were dozens of editions followed until 1522. Furthermore, it was translated into different languages and was referred to by individuals in the medical field across Europe, the magazine reported.