From lobotomies to leeching, there have been a multitude of curious medicinal cures throughout history! I’ve listed a few here, but don’t worry, no Paracetamol is required!
Got a headache? Why not bind a dead mole to your head! I appreciate it isn’t often you stumble upon a dead mole; as an alternative, place a hangman’s rope next to your head while you sleep. If all else fails, use a bandage with opium and vinegar (the vinegar opens the pores and allows the opium to sink in, apparently!)
Long before the days of paracetamol your doctor would have recommended any of the above cures
Now, I hate spiders…no really, they disgust me. So I’m glad I don’t have asthma, or else I’d be shoving loads of the eight-legged devils down my throat, slathered in butter I might add. If I really couldn’t stomach the spiders, I could always have a go at chugging a brew made from the following yummy ingredients; crushed human skull, crushed pigs bone marrow, and sweat. Bon appetit!
Now during the 1800s, pharmaceutical company Bayer distributed a heroin cough mixture. Yes…heroin, you know, that super addictive drug. Following suit; companies used an array of now-illegal drugs in their medicines, such as cannabis, cocaine and opium.
We definitely DO NOT RECOMMEND this one!
Toothache? Pop a cocaine toothache drop! Victorian parents even plied their children with Mrs. Winslows’ Soothing Syrup; a concoction of morphine, codeine, heroin and opium. No more sleepless nights for those mothers…!
Still in the same era of the Class A drug infused remedies; doctors would cure ‘female hysteria’ by ‘pleasuring’ their lady patients. Mortifying, right?! Imagine this; you go to see your doctor to explain that you’ve been feeling a little emotional lately, perhaps a touch irritable. Well back in the day, he would recommend that he relieve you of your hysteria via the method of vaginal massage, until of course, you achieve a ‘hysterical paroxysm’! Moving swiftly on…
Come on doctors, really?!
Our dear Elizabeth I had really stinking, rotten teeth (they didn’t show you that on the big screen did they!). Well, Bettys’ physicians may have advised her to hold the tooth of a dead person next to her rotten teeth, in the hope it would dull the pain. I think I’ll just stick to a box of Nurofen Plus, thanks!
I’ll be honest, I don’t like seeing things go to waste…but using literal human and animal waste to cure an array of illnesses is just plain nasty! Waste would be mixed with other substances to dress wounds, burns and skin complaints, alongside attempting to cure Jaundice, Epilepsy and blindness. In parts of the world, waste is still used today. Whiffy!
If in doubt though, bloodletting is always a sure-fire cure!*
*Disclaimer: Do NOT try this at home!
Historical Honey 2013 ©