Weird ancient medical treatments

The history of medicine is filled with many weird tonics and potions that were used for various ailments.  Here are a few of the strangest:

Dental Pain: Ancient Egyptians used a mashed mouse paste mixed with other ingredients as a poultice for dental pain.

Headaches: Ancient Greeks, 7000 years ago, would drill a hole in the patient’s skull for severe headaches and as well as for mental illness, in a procedure called trephination.

Syphilis: In ancient Chinese medicine, arsenic was used as a cure for syphilis.  We now know that arsenic is toxic and can be lethal.

Warts: In Elizabethan times in England, a dead mouse was cut in half and applied as a treatment for warts.

Contraception: Women in ancient Egypt used crocodile dung as a barrier form of contraception.

Infections: Moldy bread was used in Egypt to fight infections. Scientists now wonder if the fungi in the bread actually may have worked to fight bacteria, similar to the discovery of penicillin, which was derived from mold.

Obesity: In Victorian England, obese individuals were advised to ingest tapeworms to lose weight (horrifyingly, this is still available today in some medical clinics).

Tapeworm in an intestine:

tapeworm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s