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Lancet in bone sheath, Indian, 1800-1899

Encased in a bone sheath, much like the design of a modern pen-knife, this Indian steel lancet would have been used in a range of surgical procedures. These included bloodletting. Bloodletting was a once popular universal treatment for a range of health problems. It is now rarely used within the Ayurvedic medical tradition.

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Glossary: lancets

A surgical instrument of various forms, commonly sharp-pointed and two-edged. The lancet is used in venesection (the act of opening a vein for bloodletting), and in opening abscesses.

Glossary: bloodletting

Puncturing a vein in order to withdraw blood. A popular medical practice for over two thousand years. Bloodletting often involved withdrawing large quantities of blood in the belief that this would cure or prevent many illnesses and diseases. The practice has been abandoned for all but a few very specific conditions.

Glossary: surgery

trial term S&H