Medicine & Disease

The First Blind Medical Trials

Cures and treatments have always offered potential riches to their inventors. But how was one supposed to know what worked and what didn’t? 

Pandemics: Now and Then

As human populations expand and their exploitation of the globe increases, so does their vulnerability to certain diseases.

Removing That Little Knot

A Victorian doctor offering to cure female ‘lunacy’ came under fire for his scandalous new operation: female genital mutilation.

Misery in the Head

In the stomach, the mind, or the brain – migraine’s causes and remedies have been debated for 2,000 years.

The Torrid Zone

In the 18th century, Europeans in the tropics found themselves beset by an array of unpleasant afflictions. They blamed black women, the climate and the strength of their own masculinity.

Snuffs and Sneezes Cure Diseases

In the 17th and 18th centuries, patients were encouraged to snuff, snort and sneeze their way out of a whole range of ailments and illnesses. 

The 17th Century Guide to Sleep

Despite the modern obsession with a good night’s rest, more of us are sleeping less. Perhaps we should pay attention to the advice of early modern doctors.