A very unusual medicine of the past

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A very unusual medicine of the past
A very unusual medicine of the past

Mercury, tobacco enemas, carousel, radioactive water - medicines of the past centuries

medical instruments of the past

Tobacco enemas

It was this type of "therapy" that was often used in the 17th-18th centuries in Europe. In that era, it was believed that tobacco smoke can revive a sick body and make it … breathe air. With the help of this strange method, they managed to "cure" a fairly wide range of diseases: colds, headaches, typhoid fever, and, well, … death itself.

Something that could remotely be called "useful" is still in the tobacco smoke - in fact, nicotine, which not only kills the horse, but also has a stimulating effect on the body, forcing it to produce adrenaline. It is not clear only why it was necessary to inject this drug through the backside?..

Fortunately, at the beginning of the 18th century, doctors established that nicotine was harmful to the heart, and tobacco enema was forever a thing of the past.

Miraculous mercury


Many have probably heard the legend according to which the first emperor of the Chinese state, who put an end to the centuries-old era of the Warring States, the very authoritarian and equally ambitious Qin Shihuan, used mercury to become immortal. One fine day, his claims to immortality reached the point that he simply decided to drink mercury, which is why he died prematurely at the age of 40 - long before immortality.

All this, however, did not stop later healers from using mercury in the treatment of various diseases. At one time, for example, an ointment was made from liquid metal, which, due to its toxicity, of course, could serve as an antiseptic - and it does not matter that after its regular use, people lost their teeth, hair, internal organs such as the liver or kidneys were destroyed, and some patients died altogether.


Healing carousel

In the middle of the 19th century, it became fashionable to treat patients in psychiatric clinics more "humanely": instead of being locked in a box, imprisoned, chained to beds, they began to … circle on carousels.

The latter were a chair to which a mechanical drive was brought. The patient was placed on this chair and rotated until he lost consciousness. Why was it necessary to twist? At the time, soul healers believed that mental illness could be cured by spinning because it "stirred up the contents of the brain."

Other "humane" methods of psychiatry in those years also included extreme showers and baths, laxatives, insulin coma, and frontal lobotomy.


Radioactive water

This miracle cure was as popular at the beginning of the last century as dietary supplements are today - among many not too educated segments of the population. People believed that radioactive water could heal the soul and even prevent aging (radioactivity supposedly stimulates the activity of cells).

Moreover, the most enterprising citizens even began to add radium and thorium to chocolates, contraceptives, toothpaste and anal suppositories. And, for example, in the Czech Republic in the pre-war years, the so-called radiation baths, advertised as "hot springs", were in great demand.


Urine therapy

But this "medicine", as you know, some fellow citizens continue to use today, despite the scientific progress. Urea (the urea found in urine) is believed to have antibacterial and antifungal effects. Therefore, many have concluded that urine can be treated, and even for all diseases.

Before the world knew about synthetic pharmacology, some graduates used urine to treat acne, asthma, migraines, and even cancer.

Modern medicine, however, finds nothing useful in the use of urine.


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