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I Just Learned People Used To Eat Corpses For Medicine And Honestly, It's Only Kind Of Surprising

Feelin' under the weather? Spread some "blood marmalade" on your toast.

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I'm sorry to break it to you, but eating corpses for medical purposes used to be an honest to goodness real thing.

In the 17th century, European scientists actively believed that eating human remains could cure certain ailments.

At executions, poor people would line up and pay the executioner for some of the spilled blood.

It was important that the blood was as fresh as possible because there was more "life" left in it. (??????)
wolfwaffles.com

It was important that the blood was as fresh as possible because there was more "life" left in it. (??????)

This was based on the "like cures like" bullshit of 17th century medicine.

Disney

So if you had a headache, for example, you would eat crushed skull.

Egyptian mummies were crumbled into alcohol to create a medicine that would allegedly stop internal bleeding.

Tag yourself, I'm the guy holding the head pretending to help.
smithsonianmag.com

Tag yourself, I'm the guy holding the head pretending to help.

A few yummy treats included skull chocolate...

A "brain scientist" — or someone who passed for one in the 1600s — used to mix crushed-up skull and chocolate to cure a stroke.
gettyimages.com / BuzzFeed

A "brain scientist" — or someone who passed for one in the 1600s — used to mix crushed-up skull and chocolate to cure a stroke.

A tasty cocktail called "A King's Drops" which is made of alcohol and crushed skull...

King Charles II of England was sippin' on this signature drank in the mid-1600s.
gettyimages.com / BuzzFeed

King Charles II of England was sippin' on this signature drank in the mid-1600s.

Or a lovely marmalade made of blood if you prefer your blood cooked.

gettyimages.com / BuzzFeed

The most shocking part? Europeans condemned Native Americans if they consumed human remains.

CNN

In a bizarre twist of politics, Queen Isabella of Spain decreed that only cannibalists could be enslaved so colonists used the practice of endocannibalism — the practice of honoring loved ones by eating their remains — as an excuse to subjugate the native peoples. This was not in any way an aggressive act as the Europeans described; instead, it was the way that the indigenous used to express their grief.

Learn more in Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History ($7.12).

If this wasn't enough to scratch your curiosity or if your gag reflex is stronger than mine, you can read more about "The Gruesome History of Eating Corpses as Medicine" here.

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