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Last week we discussed some crazy medical practices throughout history and learned that people used to drink urine, drill holes in their heads an consumed tape worms and all that in order to get healthy. If you thought that was it, you were wrong. There are many other weird and utterly useless cures that kept us ill throughout history.


Cures for female hysteria

Ok, this one might actually be pretty useful. And both for men and women. Apparently, in Victorian times, if a woman was a bit nervous, this would be attributed to a condition called female hysteria and that hysteria was to be treated the following way. Well, a doctor would administer a vaginal massage until the woman would reach a “hysterical paroxysm”. And, yes, that was exactly what you think it was. The procedure turned out to be highly effective so they tried to cure various other conditions the same way. And the ladies didn’t seem to dread a visit to the doctor. Victorian times were quite repressive when it came to sex so women would invent the symptoms just to get the chance to visit the doctor. Pretty soon the list of symptoms of female hysteria was very long and almost any condition could be treated this way. This became so overwhelming that the doctors of the time started complaining that the visits were intolerably frequent. Had the procedure survived until today, all doctors would have been replaced by “vibrators”.

girl looking for something under the bed

Ah, doctor, there you are

Soothing syrups for children

19th century was the time this was popular. That was the time bringing up children was pretty simple. The children were supposed to listen to their parents and respect them and that’s it. That is why having a disobedient child was more of a problem. Even if the reason the child is, for example, screaming his or her head off is because of teething or something like that. So, they came up with solution-soothing syrups. And they were highly effective. Well, of course they were highly effective when they were packed with narcotics. Morphine, heroin, chloroform, sulphate, opium, cannabis and codeine and often in large quantities. They could cause serious problems including death since not many children with teething problems were experienced drug addicts. So, there you go. At the time you were allowed to drug your children up and have a quiet evening at home with your missus.

old advertising of soothing syrup for children

65 mg of pure morphine per every ounce and the child is peaceful


OK, this highly famous procedure was the thing of the first half of the 20th century. It was so big and so well accepted that its inventor received a Nobel Prize in 1949. However, a bit later it lost loads of its popularity mostly due to the fact that many of the patients ended up dead or left incapacitated. For example, USSR banned lobotomy in 1950 and called it ”contrary to the principles of humanity”. They were also a bit more direct saying that it turned an “insane person into an idiot”. Now, in case you don’t know what this is, here’s the explanation. The good doctor would take an ice pick and put it into your eye socket, sharp side first. But it wouldn’t stop with your eye socket, but continue all the way to your brain. Then, as the pick is in your brain, he would move it around a bit in order to scrape the problematic part of your brain. A great idea, right? Somehow I feel that drugs are a better idea. And this was used for loads of conditions, from serious stuff like schizophrenia to some plain old depression, anxiety and moody teenagers.

Lobotomy being performed on a patient

Now let me get this mallet and jam this pick into your brain. And be still, or you might hurt yourself


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