Through history Europeans have been known for their condemnation of the savagery of cannibalism throughout the world and especially in the Americas. However, at home, Europeans were actually participating in their own brand of cannibalism.
For several hundred years, and peaking in popularity in the 16th and 17th Century, human remains were a common ingredient used in medicine. Because the remains of a body were thought to contain the spirit of the person, it was commonly believed that by consuming the body parts one would receive the strength of the person. Europeans including priests, scientists and even royalty consumed medicine containing human blood, bones and fat. Grave robbing became rampant and the most prized body parts were those belonging to Egyptian mummies. The mummys remains were crumbled and ground into powder, sometimes combined with alcohol or chocolate, to cure a variety of ailments from headaches to internal bleeding.