Worst Doctor Cures Throughout History
Number One: Bloodletting was a common medical procedure prior to the Nineteenth Century. It involved flushing out black and yellow bile, blood and phlegm. Several bloodletting methods involved drawing blood from veins and arteries using barbaric tools, but leeches were the most popular method.
Number Two: The silvery liquid Mercury was once used to treat everything from scraped knees to constipation. Its side effects were indistinguishable from the symptoms of syphilis, which it was commonly used to treat. We now know it’s extremely toxic and that mercury poisoning comes with a laundry list of symptoms. These can include chest, heart and lung problems as well as many others.
Number Three: Trepanation is a treatment for mental illness that began 7,000 years ago. It involved making a hole in the skull using an auger, bore, or saw to relieve headaches, mental illness, or even demonic possession. With no knowledge of brain chemistry, ancient doctors believed the mentally ill had literal demons living inside their heads, so holes were drilled into patients’ skulls to allow these spirits to escape. The horrifying thing is that anaesthetics weren’t used in a lot of these cases.
Number Four: With the late Nineteenth Century invention of electricity, men and their frustrated wives hoped the new technology could take them straight to the Bone Zone. Doctors devised a range of devices and products designed to get penises to stand to attention. These included electrified beds and complicated ‘cock-shocking’ electric belts. Just the thing to set the mood! Other strange treatments for erectile dysfunction have included testicle implants, radium suppositories, ingesting Spanish Flies, drinking frog juice and stimulating blood flow with wasp stings and spider venom.
Number Five: According to Nineteenth Century doctors, female moodiness is a symptom of a very serious medical condition called female hysteria. Any woman who displayed symptoms like nervousness, chattiness, unwillingness to talk, irritability, or disobedience towards their supreme overlord Victorian husbands was ordered to have a doctor-administered vaginal massage until their hysteria subsided.
Number Six: Benjamin Rush's biggest contribution was in the area of psychiatry. Rush believed pain and suffering had curative powers, so patients paid him actual money to beat, starve and verbally abuse them – all in the name of medical science! His torturous practices also included pouring acid on their backs, cutting them with knives and keeping wounds open for months or even years to encourage ‘permanent discharge from the brain’. Rush also believed mental illness was caused by poor circulation to the brain, so devised something called rotational therapy, where patients were twirled from ropes suspended from the ceiling for hours at a time.
Number Seven: In 1884, Austrian ophthalmologist Carl Koller somehow discovered that placing cocaine on a patient’s cornea temporarily desensitized the eye to pain, making eye surgery less risky. When word of his discovery spread, doctors realized that cocaine could be used as an anesthetic for all kinds of procedures. Skeptics were initially concerned about the drug’s addictiveness, but doctors scoffed, claiming it was no more addictive than tea or coffee.
Number Eight: Urine therapy is self-explanatory. Forget exercise, rest, and the like. Just drink your own pee! It has been widely disproven, and yet it is still in practice today.
Number Nine: This one came about by accident. One doctor accidentally overdosed his patient on insulin resulting in a coma. The patient was suffering morphine addiction, and when they awoke from the coma, it had seemingly gone away. It was then realized that the insulin damaged 8 percent of the patient's brain function.
Number Ten: One day, a man got hemorrhoids from rummaging around in his garden. He managed to get cured when he sat on a stone protruding from the ground. To this day, the stone is still there. However, in more extreme cases of hemorrhoids, medieval physicians used their cautery irons to treat the problem.
Number Eleven: For centuries, heat has been used to cure mental diseases. In fever therapy, fevers were induced by hot baths, electric heaters, and even deliberate infection with malaria. But patients had to be closely monitored as it came with a pretty high risk of death. Extreme cold therapy was the inverse therapy and was just as dangerous. Patients receiving this treatment were sometimes refrigerated three days at a time at temperatures as low as 20°F below a normal, healthy body temperature.
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