"In days of old, when knights were bold, and toilets were not invented..."
Oops! Wrong story. However the story is about an old practice (I will not say ancient as I am rapidly approaching that category) of "blood letting" was regularly performed to get rid of the "bad blood" that was causing disease and other ailments. Modern medicine has since terminated that practice and most doctors poo-poo that practice as ancient superstition.
Until now. You see our ancestors were not the most knowledgeable, but they were not all stupid either. In the 19th century, doctors were intrigued by the "home remedy" of boiling Willow Tree bark and giving the elixir to sick people. Sounded like hokum, but the results were not. So they looked into it. And thus was born aspirin. One of the wonder drugs at the time, it literally cured almost all that ailed you. So our ancestors were not so superstitious as some thought!
Many of the "old remedies" that man used before modern science determined what was happening, were done because they did help. People did not understand why, they just knew they did help. Another of those was blood letting. The practice, where a barber (any wonder your hair dresser draws blood when cutting your hair??) would "bleed" a patient to help them feel better. That practice did not last long as too much blood letting often lead to strokes and other major problems. And of course the scientists of the time could find no valid reason for it. Just another one of those dark ages superstitions.
But now, a study by the University of Kansas Hospital has found there was a method to that madness! And the explanation is quite logical.
We all know that cells die. The lifetime of a cell is vastly shorter than that of the organism it is a part of. So where do all those dead cells go? Well, if you have excema, you know where the dead skin cells go - on that nice black sweater you are wearing! But what about the "internal" cells? Where do they go? Most are carried by the blood stream to the gastrointestinal system and out the poop chute. So you never think about them. No one does. A lot of other stuff goes out that orifice.
But blood cells die as well. And where do they go? Most go the normal route. But red blood cells are made up of a lot of iron (that is where 70% of the iron in your body resides), and not all that iron is flushed out like other stuff. It sits around and actually starts to muck things up. 70 years of mucking things up, and erk! Heart attack! Or it can lead to one. So how do you get rid of them?
Slowly and a little at a time - by BLOOD LETTING! The modern equivalent is donating blood. I knew donating was a good thing (although I am allergic to needles), as you get a mini-physical each time you donate. My donations have warned me of 2 benign polyps on my colon, and hyper tension. The polyps are gone, and the hypertension is well regulated with a very mild diuretic (nothing like nitro pills for me!). But I was totally unaware of the Kansas study until now. So in addition to "saving 3 lives", my regular donations are also helping me to extend my own! Not a bad payback!
So the next time the vampires come calling, and you think of that HUGE needle being stuck in your arm, and shudder, instead, think about doing something for yourself. Get an "oil change" of the blood system! It will get some bad stuff out of you, perhaps extend your life, and of course help to save some others. Donating blood - it is not just for the donee any longer! And do not dismiss those "old remedies" so quickly. They probably knew what they were doing - just not why it worked.