Medieval Treatments Still in Use Today

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Here’s a surprise: some of the medical treatments deemed as “modern” are actually hundreds of years old! Even more remarkable is the fact that some medieval medical procedures and techniques are still being used today. In today’s post, we are listing down common medieval treatments that are still in use today:


Hydrotherapy is a form of physical therapy that utilizes water to treat various conditions. The treatment involves performing exercises while immersed in a warm water pool. Hydrotherapy helps ease arthritic and rheumatic pains, muscle strains, and inflammation.

If you think this fancy treatment is new, think again. The ancient Romans, Egyptians, and Greeks have used hydrotherapy thousands of years ago. The Romans, in particular, were notorious for their public bathhouses. These bathhouses feature complex rooms where heated water flows continuously. In the 20th century, hydrotherapy was a popular treatment for various illnesses.

Today, hydrotherapy is still offered at your favorite spas. The only difference then and now is that modern hydrotherapy involves using aromatic essences to alleviate stress.


You might think that putting a leech on trouble areas on purpose might be gross, but the practice is beneficial to the health. Leeching is still being used in hospitals and modern medical facilities for bloodletting.

The treatment works by allowing a leech to suck out a patient’s blood to prevent clotting during and after surgery. The first recorded reference to leaching was found in an Egyptian tomb that dates back to 1500 B.C.E. In the early 20th century, leeching is still very much a part of “modern medicine.” Today, leeching remains as an effective method of removing blood pools.

Maggot Therapy

Yes, maggots or fly larvae are still used to treat infected wounds then and now. Back in the day, maggot therapy was used as a treatment for battle scars. But its history goes way, way back to the Mayans. Thousands of years ago, maggots were used by the Mayans as a cure for gangrene, and infected wounds. Military medicine launched maggot therapy to the mainstream medicine. The constant wriggling of the maggots helps remove decayed tissues, boosts tissue regeneration, and reduces the risk of infection.


Prosthetics are not a recent discovery. Ancient Egyptians were the first to use prosthetics to rehabilitate disabled people. The Egyptians used prosthetic fingers to correct congenital deformities and help amputees live a normal life. Prosthetic toes made from wood and leather are also used to restore normal extremity. And the Egyptians weren’t alone in using prosthetics. An artificial leg that dates back to 300 B.CE. was discovered in Italy.

Transsphenoidal Surgery

This minimally invasive surgical procedure involves removing brain tumors through the nose. This practice is not brand new. It has been utilized for thousands of years. Its origins date back to ancient Egypt when specialists discovered how easy it is to access the brain through the nose. Since then, this surgical procedure is used to treat severe health problems.

Cesarean Section

Surprisingly, cesarean section or C-section is a very ancient practice. This procedure is in fact, one of the oldest medical practices in human history. It dates back to 320 B.C.! Of course, the mortality rate for the procedure is very high back then. In the 17th century, a new technique was developed to reduce bleeding. Today, C-section is very common. Nearly one-third of infants delivered in 2012 were via C-section in the US alone.

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