What Were Some Methods for the Castration of Eunuchs?

In ancient methods of castration, a practitioner removed or crushed the testicles, or removed the penis with the testicles, according to Endocrine Press. Castration implements included swords, knives, shards of glass, razors and red-hot pokers. Practitioners grasped the genitals with one hand or tightened a cord tied around the genitals. With one stroke of a razor, they removed the parts as close to the body as possible, then inserted nails into the urethra to allow urination.

In 2015, oncologists use drugs to chemically castrate victims of prostate cancer by the hundreds of thousands in America, reports Richard Wassersug in the New York Times. Because American men feel ashamed, few mention it to others, and few people know any chemically castrated men.

India’s Nirvan eunuchs undergo castration with methods much like the ancient Asians experienced, explains the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Several eunuchs hold a candidate down while a sharp knife lops off the penis and testicles in one strike.

Another Nirvan method involves plying the candidate with alcohol and opium and tying a thread tightly around the genitals to cut off the blood circulation, notes the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Someone tightens the thread regularly until the parts fall off. It takes about three days, during which the new eunuch stays intoxicated with alcohol. Sometimes a physician stitches up the wound, and sometimes the caretakers use herbs to heal the wound.