Long Before Dracula, It Was Believed That Ingesting Human Blood Would Make You Stronger And Healthier

ID 176090985 - © Sonyakamoz - - illustrative purposes only

So much blood has been shed over the course of human history as a result of violence, war, and medicinal purposes. Long before Twilight, or even Bram Stoker’s Dracula, blood was highly sought after for consumption.

These people drinking human blood were not part of some kind of vampiric cult. The act of using human blood in medicine is an ancient practice. The earliest documented accounts of consuming human blood are from ancient Rome.

Pliny the Elder, a historian from the Roman Empire who lived during the first century, described how spectators would rush into arenas to drink the blood of freshly slain gladiators. This practice continued until the fifth century.

After drinking blood from fallen gladiators was banned, people turned to folks facing execution as their new source of fresh blood.

It was believed that ingesting blood would make you stronger and healthier since blood loss caused a person to be weak and fatigued.

Blood from young, healthy bodies was used to cure a number of ailments, such as epilepsy. Nearly all the scholars of the time were in agreement that the blood of a young, healthy man offered the most vitality.

By the early modern era, scholars and doctors believed that the blood needed to be prepared before consumption, which resulted in recipes for blood jams, distilled blood liquors, and blood powders. However, the majority of people preferred their blood straight from a still-warm body.

In the late eighteenth century, blood drinking started to decrease in popularity. The evidence that scientists accumulated showed no proof that blood was the key to youth or health. The last recorded attempt of someone who drank blood from a victim of an execution was in 1908 in Germany.

Today, some groups, such as the Sanguinarians, continue to drink raw human blood. Sanguinarians believe they need to consume other people’s blood for the sake of their health. They get blood from consenting donors through a syringe or drink it fresh from the vein.

ID 176090985 – © Sonyakamoz – – illustrative purposes only

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