Crazy Medical Practices Used Back In The Day That Were Legal


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You might be totally shocked to hear this, but Kellogg’s Corn Flakes were used for medical purposes at one time. The condition? It was done to prevent sexual urges.

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Want to know what one of the most common ingredients found in medicine back in the day was? It was human corpses. They often found uses for almost every body part.

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The idea of using mercury to treat things like influenza sounds way off. We know about the dangers of mercury poison now. It was believed that it would prolong life.

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This is one of the more famous odd medical situations of the past. Lobotomies are a crazy idea and there was never any proof that it had any positive medical effects.

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Even though we knew arsenic was toxic, it was still often used to treat things like trypanosomiasis. You could find it in tablets or balsams during the 19th Century.

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It sounds kind of crazy now considering everything we know about smoking cigarettes. However, in the early 20th century, many believed it was a medical treatment.

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This is arguably the strangest decision on this list. In ancient Egypt, unwanted pregnancies were often treated by shoving crocodile feces into the vagina. We’re not making this up.

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The Iron Lung was a terrifying concept. To help treat polio (there were a reported 57,000 cases in the 1950s), some folks were forced to spend weeks or longer in a massive metal coffin-like structure.

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Before legitimate tuberculosis medicine was available, other actions had to be taken. That included plombage, which would literally force a collapsed lung.

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When it was originally around, doctors often used heroin to produce similar results to what would happen with morphine. Of course, now that wouldn’t fly.

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Bloodletting dates back thousands of years. Draining a body of most of its blood did help with things like smallpox but it’s too risky. You could go into cardiac arrest from it.

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Trepanation is one of the oldest surgical procedures ever. They would drill or cut holes into a person’s scalp and skull to treat head traumas. Sounds counterproductive to us.

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This must be the grossest entry on the list. To help reduce weight, people in Victorian times came up with the idea to consume a tapeworm egg. It would grow and ingest what you eat.

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Okay, this might be more disgusting. In the 19th Century, it was believed that a way to treat rheumatism was to sit inside of a rotting whale corpse for 30 hours.

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What would you do if you had syphilis during the early 20th Century? Simple. It was called malariotherapy. You would be deliberately injected with malaria to get a high fever that would kill syphilis bacteria.

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Talk about ineffective. Egyptians would find dead mice and blend their bodies with other ingredients to help relieve toothaches. It didn’t help and also caused infections.

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You think energy drinks are new? They were around back in the 1920s but contained radium water. Yes, it literally included radioactive water. That’s one way to boost yourself.

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Here’s a treatment that is still around. The hemiglossectomy removes part of the tongue, usually done to aid oral cancer. However, centuries ago it was used to try and cure stutters.

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We all know what an enema is. This is a case of a tobacco smoke enema. That means they would literally blow smoke up the patient’s butt to help with headaches, colds, and more.

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Long before it became the focal point of “Breaking Bad,” methamphetamine was used for a few different things. They included asthma, narcolepsy, and even weight loss.


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