Treasures from the Collection

Cupping and Bleeding Kit


cupping and bleeding kit

This kit (c. 1800) includes instruments for wet and dry cupping.  Cupping applied suction to the skin through a cup attached to a pump.  In wet cupping, a scarficator with spring-loaded blades or a pointed lancet was used with the cups to extract blood from a specific area.  Dry cupping produced blistering alone.

Cupping and bleeding treated fevers, apoplexy (stroke), inflammation, and headaches, among other problems.

Dating from ancient Egypt, cupping and bleeding constitute one of the oldest medical treatments, although there were debates about when, where and how much blood to extract.

Despite being discredited in the 19th century, it continues as an alternative therapy today.

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