It doesn’t sound pleasant to receive “an enema in which they used antimony, sacred bitters, rock salt, mallow leaves, violet, beet root, camomile flowers, fennel seed, linseed, cinnamon, cardamom seed, saffron, cochineal and aloes.” But according to the BBC, that is exactly how Charles II, the 17th century king of Great Britain and Ireland, was treated for an illness — among dozens of other attempted cures.

Most sources currently agree that Charles II died of a stroke, in which a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or ruptures, although some think his death was caused by apoplexy, a stroke- or hemorrhage-induced state of unconsciousness. Stroke treatment has come a long way in the days since this unfortunate king ruled, in a time toward the end of the Renaissance known as the Restoration period. But in the days of Charles II’s reign, it appears as though the strategy was to throw a whole mess of medicines against the wall to see what would stick.

The BBC uses the description of the monarch’s doctor himself, Sir Charles Scarburgh, in painting a picture of his last night alive, one in which he was endlessly poked and prodded. “The ‘cures’ … certainly hastened his death” from a mild stroke, the BBC notes. “When Charles II of England lay dying from a convulsion which attacked him while shaving, the medicos of that day left no stone unturned in helping him along to the Great Beyond.”

They began with bloodletting, taking up to a pint out of the king. notes the blood was removed from the arm and neck, although it also says he had suffered a seizure rather than a stroke. More blood was then taken from his shoulder.

From there, the BBC lists, he was given repeated substances to make him vomit, more than one enema, sneezing powder and different drinks that included substances like barley water, licorice, absinthe and mint. Pigeon dung was applied to his feet, his scalp was shaved and a blister raised on it, and he was given various animal, plant and flower extracts. Among the more noteworthy extracts he was given were forty drops that contained human skull.

“Alas, after an ill fated night His Serene Majesty was so exhausted that all the physicians became despondent,” the BBC wrote. “And so, more active cordials, and finally pearl julep [a heart tonic] and ammonia, were forced down the royal patient's throat. Then he died.”

If Charles II had suffered a mild stroke in today’s world, he would not have suffered through such myriad medical treatments. It is unclear whether the monarch died from a stroke related to a clot in one of his brain’s vessels, called ischemic stroke, or a ruptured vessel, known as a hemorrhagic stroke, but the American Stroke Association lists treatments for both conditions. In the case of the former, patients can receive a tissue plasminogen activator, a protein that can be injected through an IV line that dissolves the clot and restores blood flow. Doctors can also use a catheter, threading it from the groin and up into the brain, that will grab hold of the clot, which they can then pull out of the body.

If a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, spilling blood onto the brain tissue, doctors can use a similar method to that catheter procedure, except instead of removing a clot, the purpose would be to deposit “a mechanical agent, such as a coil, to prevent rupture,” the association says. There is also a surgical treatment in which doctors would place a metal clip at the problem site to “secure” it.

The earlier a stroke is detected, the better it can be treated, and the same would have gone for Charles II, if these technologies had been around in his day.