Friday Fun Facts- Crazy Medical Treatments

Modern medicine has come a long way since the early days of leeching and using hacksaws. It’s been an interesting journey with some crazy ideas popping up from time to time. You won’t believe some of the items I’ve uncovered!

-Are you a few pounds overweight? No problem! Ingest a tapeworm and fat will melt away. You can eat and eat and eat, but never gain a pound. The only problem with this idea was that it could also cause malnutrition, diarrhea, vomiting, and anemia. Oops. This diet was very popular among doctors in the early 1900s.

-A sure fire way to help your sore throat was to make a home made recipe which included album gracecum (dried dog poop). What were these people thinking?

– Coca Cola was created as a health drink. In fact, at one point it contained cocaine to ease symptoms. (It was taken out in 1903.) Pharmacies even had a soda dispenser installed in the 1940s.

– Doctors used to encourage their patients to smoke cigarettes! A popular treatment for asthma was to inhale the fumes from burning tobacco. Can you believe this nonsense?

– Starting in 1898 Bayer used to manufacture heroin as a cure for common ailments such as coughs, colds, and pain.

– In the 1830s, Dr. Archibald Miles created a pill made from tomato extract called Dr. Miles Compound. This as supposed to help diarrhea and indigestion. It was a hoax…………what a shock.

– They used to promote the idea of preparing radioactive water at home to cure gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and sinus problems. Seriously?

– In medieval times, they used to grind up mummies into a powder and give it to patients to help cure headaches and stomach ulcers. Mummy powder was highly sought after!

– In the 1950s, they used shark cartilage to treat cancer.

– From the late 1800s to the 1930s, a compound was created to help mothers soothe their babies during teething. What was in it? Alcohol and morphine sulfate.

The next time you go to the doctor, thank your lucky stars you are in the era of modern medicine!

7 Responses to Friday Fun Facts- Crazy Medical Treatments

  1. I love there posts. Thanks so much–as an asthmatic allergic to tobacco, I can understand why so many patients died!


  2. That treatment would have had a quick dramatic ending for you! Sheesh! Glad you enjoy the posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jeff7salter says:

    Hey, I’m still using some of that stuff.
    When you think about some of the treatments — like leeches — it makes total sense … but only in a mathematical sort of computation. Something “bad” in your blood? Slowly subtract a large quantity of that bad blood and you should be better.

    I worked with a guy who ingested about a spoonful of turpentine nearly every day. It was supposed to help his rheumatism.
    He also donated blood once a month to help lower his blood pressure.
    True stories. He was a country boy raised during the Depression… served in the Navy in WW2.


  4. Wow! I can’t believe that the turpentine didn’t do damage to his esophagus and other tender tissue! Holy moly!


  5. jeff7salter says:

    people say a lot about physical health is in our minds. So if we don’t kill ourselves with a particular cure that we strongly believe in, maybe it can help out (somehow).


  6. I miss the OLD old Coke


  7. I think it made being sick a whole lot more fun!


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