The weirdest treatments in medical history
Since ancient times the main principle of medicine is “do No harm”.
But in the recent past, doctors and other professionals often resorted to rather questionable methods . including those that we now believe to be ineffective and sometimes dangerous.
In the history of medicine was used a lot of strange tonics, medicines and courses of treatment, ranging from mercury to heroin.
The history of medicine
1. Moldy bread
Moldy bread in Ancient Egypt it was used to disinfect cuts. Despite what it sounds like, a mad treatment, actually it has a meaning. As later discovered by the famous French microbiologist Louis Pasteur . some species of mushrooms inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause disease, as for example, penicillin.
This method has become popular thanks to Adolf Hitler, who was a hypochondriac. His doctor was giving him injections of vitamins, which sometimes was added the narcotic substance methamphetamine. Injections supported the führer “energetic, attentive, active, talkative and able to stay awake at night for many hours”.
3. Gaza in the Bank
In the Middle ages doctors believed that “like can cure like” and in the time of cholera, which is believed vyzvolennia evaporation, some doctors recommend keeping farts in a Bank and often they inhale.
4. A paste of dead mice
The ancient Egyptians rubbed paste of dead mice along with other ingredients for toothache.
But the Egyptians were not the only one who resorted to a treatment mice. So in the Elizabethan era in England to the warts used to put a mouse cut in half. Mice are also used for the treatment of whooping cough, measles, smallpox, and bedwetting.
5. The excrement of the crocodile
In Ancient Egypt crocodile excrement was used as a contraceptive. The dried manure was injected into the vagina, and when at body temperature it softened, was considered. this creates an impassable obstacle to conceive.
Among other contraceptive methods were also tree SAP, lemon halves, cotton, wool, sponges, and elephant dung.
See also: 10 ancient methods of birth control
Arsenic is known as poison, but for many centuries it was used as medicine in traditional Chinese medicine. He also became the main ingredient in the treatment of malaria and syphilis at the end of the 18th century, as well as arthritis and diabetes. Victorian women used arsenic as a beauty product.
7. Snake oil
For centuries the oil of the Chinese water snake used in traditional Chinese medicine in treating pain in the joints, and it still use.
It is now known that snakes are a source of eicosapentaenoic acid and omega-3 which have anti-inflammatory properties.
In medieval Europe doctors were diagnosing on the basis of uroscopy, simply put, examining the urine of patients. Some patients themselves brought the urine to the doctor, and others were sent analysis. The doctor usually observed the smell, texture and even taste of urine.
9. Wine Mariani
Wine Mariani was invented by Italian chemist Angelo Mariani in 1863. Energy drink consisted of wine and Coca leaves. The drink became very popular, probably because the Coca leaves contain cocaine. Advertising claimed that Mariani wine is endorsed by 8,000 doctors and perfect “overworked men, feeble women and sickly children.” They have enjoyed Thomas Edison, Queen Victoria, Pope Pius X, and others.
American pharmacist John Pemberton later created a similar drink, which became known as Coca-Cola.
10. The diagnosis is based on liver sheep
In the absence of blood tests and x-rays, ancient healers resorted to unusual methods of diagnosing the disease. So in Mesopotamia the doctors judged the patient’s health by studying the liver of a sheep, sacrificed.
At that time the liver was considered the source of human blood, that is the source of life.
11. Dissection of the language
In the 18th and 19th century doctors tried to treat stuttering, cutting off half the tongue of the patient. Now it is prescribed in the treatment of cancer of the oral cavity, and the procedure is performed under General anesthesia, which cannot be said about how this happened in the past.
In addition, this method has not acted, it would have caused great pain and some patients bleed to death.
One of the most frequently used but controversial methods of treatment is electroconvulsive therapy or ect. The method was invented in 1930-ies for the treatment of mental illness. Now ect is still used in the treatment of severe depression.
In the 1830s, Dr. Archibald miles (Archibald Miles) claimed to have found a substance in tomatoes that will cure the diarrhea, nausea and indigestion. Extract of tomatoes, which he released, was later declared a hoax. As you know, in a really useful tomato contains lycopene and antioxidants. However, in modern products of tomatoes, such as ketchup, in addition, contains a lot of salt, sugar and preservatives.
14. Dog droppings
The dried excrement of the dog was once used to relieve pain in the throat. They were mixed with honey to cleanse and reduce inflammation in the throat. This medication is also used as patch for wound healing.
15. Shark cartilage
The idea of using shark cartilage to treat cancer emerged in the 1950s, after it became clear that sharks do not get cancer. However, modern research has shown that shark cartilage has no significant effect on human health.
The mud is used in many pharmaceutical drugs, including a coating for pills. NASA also resorted to this method of treatment to counter the degenerative effects of weightlessness on bones.
Even before there was advertising to combat Smoking, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was a widespread campaign in support of Smoking. At that time the inhalation of tobacco smoke was considered to be effective in the treatment of asthma and cancer.
Read also: 7 most brutal medical experiments in history
Heroin, known as diacetylmorphine, was once prescribed to treat such ailments as coughs, colds and sore. However, the growing concern that these drugs cause dependence, led to its ban.
Ecstasy, aka MDMA ( methylenedioxymethamphetamine ) appeared in the early 20th century. In the 1970s, some psychiatrists suggested to use it for psychotherapy.
Mercury used to treat syphilis until the early 20th century. Side effects of this treatment included loss of teeth, ulceration, neurological damage, and even death.