10 Of The Weirdest Medical Treatments From History
Medicine has come a long, long way since the old days when snails and leeches were used to fix problems in the human body. Today, we have highly trained experts who can tackle almost any problem as if they were Gregory House. Back then, however, there were some truly crazy medical treatments that made sure we all would have been terrified. Some of these weren’t very humane. In fact, plenty were downright dangerous, and potentially worse than the health condition plaguing the person in the first place. So, without further ado, here are ten of the craziest medical treatments ever.
Clysters are what people in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries knew as an enema. Back then, the ingredients of a clyster were typically warm water with salt, baking soda, coffee, bran, chamomile, and sometimes honey. They were thought to extend people’s lives.
Dolphin Therapy, which is popular throughout Peru, is thought to help pregnant women if the dolphin touches their bellies. The fetus’ neuronal development is said to be drastically improved after the therapy.
Moldy Bread, despite what we know now, was used as an effective painkiller in ancient China and Greece. It was said to be a way to honor the gods responsible for illness and suffering so they would leave the victim alone.
Snail Syrup, which is secreted from the snail as it moves, was used to cure sore throats and earaches in patients. This was used for centuries. The creature was pricked and the fluid was removed before being inserted into the ear or throat.
At some point in history, doctors came up with the wonderful idea to use dog poop as a way to cure a sore throat. They let the feces dry before allowing their patient to consume the poop. That is more nasty than anything else.
Hot Irons are dangerous and deadly, but were often used back in the day as a way to cure hemorrhoids. In reality, the hot iron was far more drastic and painful than the hemorrhoid could ever be. Anesthesia was not known at this time.
In what can be considered one of the most barbaric and hideous medical treatments, the Lobotomy was used as a way to stop mental illness from spreading in a patient. The frontal lobe of the brain was pierced by a metal nail.
“Powder of Sympathy”
In early modern Europe, fencing was the most popular sport for men. It often caused serious injury or death, so the “Powder of Sympathy” was created in order to prevent such occurrences. Made up of earthworms, pig brains, rust, and pieces of mummified corpses, the powder was thought to heal wounds.
Hemiglossectomy is a brutal treatment, but remains in use even today in some of the more extreme cases. Basically, the operation has general anesthesia and an experienced team of doctors who will cut off half of the patient’s tongue to cure stuttering.
Migraines, epileptic seizures, mental disorders, or a simple head injury could cause pain in some patients. Centuries ago, “experts” would drill a hole in the skull as a way to remove the pain. It ended in death more often than not.