Bleeding and cupping have been used in medicine since ancient times in the treatment of fevers and local inflammatory disorders. Local bleeding, by 'wet cupping', was effected by a scarificator or by leeches. John Hunter recommended venesection in moderation but preferred leeches for local bleeding. Bleeding as an accepted therapeutic practice went out of vogue in the middle of the nineteenth century as a result of the introduction of modern scientific methods. Dry cupping and the use of leeches, as counter irritants, persisted until the middle of this century.