Pigeon blood cure is considered a sovereign remedy against the influenza. If the following facts, writes a Paris correspondent in year 1900, were not vouched for by a highly distinguished physician, Dr. G. Legue, it would be permissible to regard them as an invention suggested by sundry of the marvellous in vogue in the Middle Ages.
Blood treatment for the flu
Dr. Legue was put on the track of his curious discovery by one of his patients, who informed him in the most casual manner, and as if there were nothing extraordinary about the statement, that she had tried the ‘pigeon treatment’ for meningitis, and for the first time with limited success.
Dr. Legue had to confess his entire ignorance of the treatment in question, and to ask for an explanation of its nature. It was then revealed to him that in this sceptical age, and in Paris, of all places in the world, there are people who believe in the efficaciousness, as a remedy for certain maladies, of the blood of a freshly killed pigeon.
The head of the patient to be treated is shaved, and then the breast of the pigeon is ripped open by the ‘operator,’ and the warm and bleeding carcase immediately applied to the bared skull. The believers in this cruel and senseless treatment imagine that all fever is drawn out of the body by the hot life blood and the quivering flesh of the pigeon. The extraordinary thing is that faith in the treatment is widespread, and recourse to it frequent.
Dr. Legue, who had thoroughly investigated the matter, has been able to obtain the address of the shop in the Central Markets at which nothing else is sold but live pigeons destined to this strange purpose. The business done is so brisk that the late proprietor, Mme. Michel, has been able to retire, after making a small fortune.
Her successor declares that the pigeon treatment is considered a sovereign remedy for influenza, since the appearance of which she has been unable to meet the demand that has arisen for birds. They are also used, it seems, in cases of typhoid fever, but in this instance two pigeons are necessary, and they are applied to the feet of the patient.