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Aztec warriors. Source: Arthur / Adobe Stock.

The Ancient Aztec Took Hygiene Very Seriously (Video)

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Thanks to their penchant for human sacrifice the Aztecs have a rather gruesome reputation, but what was their hygiene like? As it turns out, they upheld remarkable standards of hygiene. Their practices, rooted in spiritual beliefs, stood out even among their contemporaries. The Aztecs ingeniously maintained cleanliness through an extensive water system, featuring canals for both water supply and waste removal. Intricate networks ensured separation of fresh and salt water, enabling private home baths and steam lodges for ritual purification. Plants like copalxocotl and xiuhamolli served as natural cleansers, while the Badianus Manuscript emphasized the importance of combating underarm odor.

Maintaining not only personal but also environmental cleanliness was crucial. Aztec surgeons displayed advanced skills in healing wounds and setting bones, surpassing Spanish counterparts. Even dental hygiene was practiced using materials like salt, ashes, and urine. The Aztecs' dedication to cleanliness was deeply tied to their spiritual beliefs, reflecting their wisdom in preserving both physical and spiritual well-being.

Top image: Aztec warriors. Source: Arthur / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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