Health Advice from 1500s: Stay Youthful By Sucking the Blood of the Young



C’mon, don’t be a baby! The vein is “scarcely-opened.”

Via Ask the Past:

“There is a common and ancient opinion that certain prophetic women who are popularly called ‘screech-owls’ suck the blood of infants as a means, insofar as they can, of growing young again. Why shouldn’t our old people… likewise suck the blood of a youth? — a youth, I say who is willing, healthy, happy and temperate, whose blood is of the best but perhaps too abundant. They will suck, therefore, like leeches, an ounce or two from a scarcely-opened vein of the left arm; they will immediately take an equal amount of sugar and wine; they will do this when hungry and thirsty and when the moon is waxing. If they have difficulty digesting raw blood, let it first be cooked together with sugar; or let it be mixed with sugar and moderately distilled over hot water and then drunk.”

Marsilio Ficino, De vita libri tres (1489)


3 Comments on "Health Advice from 1500s: Stay Youthful By Sucking the Blood of the Young"

  1. Is that picture David Bowie in make up from the movie The Hunger?
    That was an awesome bit of film.

    • Matt Staggs | Oct 6, 2013 at 11:44 am |

      It is a neat film, but that’s actually “grandpa” from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was either that or Gary Oldman in Dracula. I went for grandpa.

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