Cupping scarifier with thirteen lancets, European, 17th century.
Image number: 10305815
Cupping aimed to draw poisonous substances from the body and was popular from Roman times until the late 19th century. The glass cup was heated and pressed on the skin. As the oxygen in the cup was used up a partial vacuum was created powerfully sucking the cup to the body. Dry cupping was performed on unbroken skin creating blisters. Wet cupping covered a wound or deliberate incision, and drew out blood, pus and other fluids. A scarificator such as this was a metal box containing hidden blades, which sprang out when a lever was pressed. The blades could be used to make cuts in the skin surface before the cupping glass was applied.
- Image number:
- Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
- Date taken:
- 20 October 2003 13:52
- Image rights:
- Science Museum