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Sick Notes - A History of Gory Medicine

Updated: Jan 23

In this podcast, we hear about a disease cured by frogs. Where can you find the skeleton of an “Irish Giant” Why the Queen's doctor prescribed rooster testicles. A 17th-century inoculation for smallpox and the Soho plague.





We investigate the history of 10,000 skeletons buried at London's Spitalfields hundreds of years ago.


Why, in 1163, did the Pope stop monks from bleeding patients.



Ring a Ring a Rosies

A Pocket Full of Posies

Atichoo, Atichoo

We all Fall down


Is this rhyme really about the plague?


Hear the tragic story of Charles Byrne - the “famous Irish giant” - and his nemesis, the surgeon and anatomist John Hunter.


Britain's Queen Anne was pregnant 17 times. Twelve ended with miscarriages or stillbirths and of her five living children, none survived past the age of 11. What strange cures did her doctor Hans Sloane give her.


How did aristocrat Lady Mary Wortley Montagu discover an inoculation for smallpox? And why did 18th century doctors stop her from promoting a treatment that could have saved lives.


Who were the Burkers, and how did they manage to sell over 1000 dead bodies from the top of a pub in London's Smithfield?


How did John Snow stop a cholera outbreak in Soho in 1854. Why is he one of the most important figures in medicine.


Genitals of a cockerel, breast milk drunk directly from the breast, the brain of a hare. What were these cures for?


All this in our podcast about the history of medicine.







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