Medicinal cannibalism: when Europeans ate humans

Human blood, fat, and bones were used as medicine

Stars Insider

19/01/24 | StarsInsider


News of cannibalism in the New World arrived in Europe as explorers encountered tribes that would engage in these practices. Things however, were not much different in Europe at the time. Mostly during the 16th and 17th centuries, Europeans also had a taste for humans, particularly in the form of bones, fat, and blood.  

The history of medicine is tainted with bizarre practices, so while this might not come as a surprise, cannibalism was actually much more widespread in Europe than you might think. This begs the question: were Europeans cannibals? In the strict sense of the word—yes, or so it seems. 

Browse through the gallery to learn more about medicinal cannibalism in Europe. 

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