The Urine Wheel: A Medieval Approach to Curing What Ails You
What happens in the bathroom can tell us a lot about what’s happening with our bodies—which is exactly why we have to pee in those little cups at the doctor’s office every once in while. But the idea isn’t a modern one, and in fact, examining urine used to be standard practice in determining illness. There was even a useful reference guide for diagnosis, charmingly known as The Urine Wheel.
In an episode of Under the Knife, Lindsey Fitzharris takes a look at the history of this delightful medical infographic of sorts, which first came to prominence during the Middle Ages (though medical practitioners had long thought of urine as an important tool for gauging one’s health).
Fitzharris touches on King George III (whose pee was reportedly blue), so-called “Piss Prophets,” the many artistic depictions of urine study, and the disease that makes your urine (according to one 17th century physician) “wonderfully sweet.”
Images via Under the Knife // Wellcome Images // YouTube