Brass enema syringe, possibly Portugese, 18th century.

Image number: 10327914

Brass enema syringe, possibly Portugese, 18th century.

Piston-action enema syringe, driven by a 'lazy-tongs' mechanism. Treating patients by means of an enema, the introduction of liquid into the rectum, dates back to ancient Egypt. Today, enemas are administered before certain types of surgery, to wash out the lower bowel as a hygiene measure, or to introduce medications, salts, or minerals into the body. In the past they were prescribed for all kinds of complaints, even ailments as minor as indigestion or headaches.

Image number:
10327914
Credit:
Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
Date taken:
20 October 2003 19:01
Image rights:
Science Museum