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The use of Leeches in medicine probably dates from around 1500 B.C.E, the oldest depiction coming from a tomb painting in Egypt. It continued in the ancient world through the Greeks and Romans, and became a medical staple in Medieval Europe through the continuation of the practice throughout the so-called dark ages in the Asian and Arab world.

Leeches were used excessively in blood letting due to the belief which came from the Greek world that the body contained four basic humors, Blood, phlegm, black bile, yellow bile. Illness was caused by an imbalance of one of these, especially Blood from the 1st Century AD, after the Greek physician Galen stated that it was the most important humor. Therefore to purge blood from the body was to redress the balance.

By the Renaissance bloodletting through leeches was firmly established and peaked in the 17th and 18th centuries when blood letting became a core of all medical treatment, before the practice faded to criticism at the end of the 19th century.While bloodletting itself as a medical practice has faded, the beneficial treatments of leeches themselves have recently seen a comeback.

Handcast from handmade mold, taken from 18th and 19th century medicine bottles, comes with lid modelled after the renaissance ceramic style of Bernard Palissy. Illustrations are orginal inspired by the history of the bottle and medicine. For display purposes only, and not designed to hold liquids.

Size: 3.25" Height x 2.5" Width

Leech Jar