Bloodletting was used to treat almost every imaginable disease. Early medical texts recommended the use of bloodletting for the treatment of, just to name a few, acne, asthma, cancer, cholera, coma, convulsions, diabetes, epilepsy, gangrene, gout, herpes, indigestion, insanity, jaundice, leprosy, ophthalmia, plague, pneumonia, scurvy, smallpox, stroke, tetanus, tuberculosis, venereal diseases, nosebleed, excessive menstruation, and hemorrhoidal bleeding. Bloodletting was also customary before surgery or the onset of childbirth in order, so it was believed, to prevent inflammation. If an arm or a leg was to be amputated, the amount of blood thought to be equal to the amount of blood circulating in the limb was first removed.
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