Glad I didn’t live in those days!

 

 ICE PICK

270-610x360Like trepanation, lobotomies were performed by drilling a hole into the head,
at least until psychiatrist Walter Freeman realized that an icepick through the eye socket was faster.
Thankfully, with the advent of effective antipsychotics in the 60s, this procedure fell out of favor.

HEROIN

323-610x360Although today it is known as one of the most addictive substances on Earth,
scientists at the beginning of the 20th century for some reason thought it was a non-addictive form of morphine.
Therefore, Bayer actually produced heroin as a cough suppressant for children. Not surprisingly production ended shortly thereafter.

SNAIL JUICE

422-610x360Perhaps not quite as disturbing as our last remedy, people in the
1700s quite often used smashed snails to cure coughs and ear aches.

HONEY COATED CADAVERS

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According to some sources there were elderly men in Arabia that would eat nothing but honey until they died.
They were then buried in honey and left in a tomb for over a century
after which they were ready for consumption by people with various ailments.

BLOODLETTING

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For various reasons, during the middle ages excess blood in the body was seen as the cause of numerous ailments.
Many people would even use leeches recreationally just because they thought it would keep them healthy.

HOROSCOPES

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In some parts of medieval Europe doctors were legally required to consult a patients horoscope before making a diagnosis.

TREPANING

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Thought to cure head related issues like migraines, people would have holes drilled into their skulls to relieve pressure on the brain.

HOT IRON

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Also during the middle ages, if you got hemorrhoids then you could expect to have a hot iron pushed up your rectum.

NEEDLES

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Not for acupuncture but for eye surgery. In the middle ages the needle was used to shove cataracts to the back of eye.

MALARIA

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In spite of the fact that it kills 3 million people per year, it apparently raises your body temperature enough to kill the bacteria that cause syphilis.
Dr. Julius Wagner-Jauregg even won the Nobel prize in 1927 for the discovery.
Not surprisingly this treatment is no longer used today.

MOLDY BREAD

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As far back as ancient Egypt it was used as a disinfectant.
This may not be all that strange, however, as many fungi are known to have bacteria inhibiting properties. Penicillin?

ARSENIC

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Although these days its relatively well known as a poison,
in the past it has been used as everything from a cosmetic (Victorian women) to a cure for Malaria (Fowler’s Solution).

SNAKE OIL

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It hasn’t always been synonymous with quack medicine. The ancient Chinese often used it to cure joint pain.

URINE

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Yup, it had multiple uses, and this one was often the treatment of choice on the battlefield.
Interestingly enough, urine was used as an antiseptic and in all likelihood the most sterile substance available in such a scenario.

 

URINE FOR DIAGNOSIS

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In medieval times doctors would often diagnose the patient by smelling, examining, and even tasting the patient’s urine.

EARTHWORMS: POWDER OF SYMPATHY

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In the 17th century Sir Kenelm Digby came out with a special powder consisting of pig’s brains,
mummified corpses, and earthworms. It was usually applied to battle wounds.

CLYSTERS

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Basically the medieval word for enemas, people would often put all sorts of things into their
rectum hoping for a magical cure. However, to give credit where credit is due, they did use it to cure constipation, which is still done today.

TONGUE CUTTING

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If you stuttered in the 1800s you could expect the doctor to cut off half of your tongue.
Not surprisingly many patients bled to death.

VIN MARIANI

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In the mid 1800s Italian chemist Angelo Mariani came out with a “healing tonic”
that consisted of red wine and cocoa leaves. The tonic became very popular (for those of you that don’t know, coca leaves contain cocaine).
Which leads us to our next entry…

COCA-COLA

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Inspired by Vin Mariani, Coca-Cola (made from coca-leaves and cola nuts) was also originally intended to be a medicine.
Colonel John Pemberton, the inventor, claimed that it could cure headaches, morphine addiction, and impotence.

CRYSTAL METH

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Hitler’s doctors are possibly the most famous example’s of using this treatment.
As Hitler was a known hypochondriac they would often inject him with all sorts of medications, including meth. Go figure.

FARTS

2223-610x360In the middle ages, people were convinced that the black death was caused by smelly odors.
The prevailing view of the day was that “like cures like” so many physicians encouraged people to
fart in jars and then open the jars when the plaque came to town.

SHEEP LIVER

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In Mesopotamia people were diagnosed with diseases by examining the livers of sacrificed sheep.

HALF A MOUSE

2423-610x360Not to be outdone, in Elizabethan England people would cut mice in half and apply them to their warts.

DEAD MOUSE PASTE

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The ancient Egyptians used mashed mice to cure their toothaches.

 

Source: List25

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