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Enema syringe, circa 1830

Enema syringe, circa 1830

C018/0367

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Nineteenth century clyster (a type of enema syringe). Made from pewter and wood. The enema is a medical procedure whereby fluid is introduced to the rectum and colon via the anus. The expansion of the lower intestinal tract brought about by this fluid prompts its evacuation. The use of enema procedures dates back to ancient Egypt (circa 1500 B.C.) and has been used therapeutically throughout history for conditions such as fever and constipation. The plunger would be used to force liquid (usually water) out of the pewter cylinder, into the nozzle, and into the anus. This piece is French and dates from around 1830.

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