Modern medicine has come along way, and looking back at some of the cures used in times past will leave you laughing, shaking your head, or just plain cringing. So the next time you bemoan getting a shot, just remember – at least the nurse isn’t giving you one of these dangerous ancient cures.
Ancient Roman Hangover Remedy
It’s no secret the Romans loved to party, and just as we do today they paid the consequences the next morning. But their remedy wasn’t chugging Gatorade, staying in bed, and faking sick to get out of work; the Romans go-to miracle cure. Pliny the Elder advised those afflicted to fry a canary and eat it whole. Today, college students keep the tradition alive by scarfing down fried foods after a night of a few too many.
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Got a cough? Eat a snail
A delicacy now, in past centuries they were merely a remedy for those suffering from a bad cough or sore throat. Users found the slimy creatures soothing. If you’re looking to test this out on your own (and who isn’t) you’ll need about a pounds worth. Or you could just, you know, take a cough drop.
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Snails didn’t do the trick for that cough? Give Jr. some nice heroin
Many of today’s most illicit drugs started as so-called miracle cures. Cocaine and heroin are both among them. Doctors prescribed them to all types of people for all types of illnesses; children were even given heroin to quell a nasty cough. The drug was even marketed by Bayer, who continued producing and selling the drug until 1913 when hospitals warned them of its addictive, dangerous nature.
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While this is practice is well known to most people, you may not know how often it was prescribed. The practice, where a near foot long pick was hammered into one’s skull until it reached the brain was for a time considered brilliant – even winning it’s inventor a Nobel Prize. Shockingly, it was often used for a malaise as simple as moodiness or depression. Rosemary Kennedy was one such patient, she was rendered with the mental capability after a failed lobotomy to ‘cure’ her violent mood swings.
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A little mummy is good for what ails ya
Today, legends abound of those who dare to disturb the deads’ resting places being stricken with horrible curses causing terrible disease or even death. Other cultures in the past though have seen it differently. Approximately 900 years ago it was popular in many Arab regions to grind up mummified Egyptians into a fine powder for medicinal use both internal and external.
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Some more health tips from our ancestors
Have a breakout before school picture day? Rub your face with a wet diaper.
Chilly? Have someone trace a cross on your back with a broom.
Rescue a drowning victim? A tobacco smoke enema will get them good as new.
High school reunion coming up? Lose those pesky last 10 pounds and swallow a delicious tapeworm.
Nearsighted? Farsighted? Piercing your ears will fix that.
Want to rid yourself of an unsightly wart? Tie a strand of horse hair around it and it will fall off within days.