Strange Medicine: A Shocking History of Real Medical Practices Through the Ages

By Nathan Belofsky

Strange medication casts a gimlet eye at the perform of drugs during the a long time that highlights the main doubtful rules, strange remedies, and largest mistakes. From undesirable technology and oafish habit to stomach-turning tactics that damage greater than helped, Strange Medicine provides unusual yet actual evidence and an honor roll of medical professionals, scientists, and dreamers who inadvertently became the clock of medication backward:

• the traditional Egyptians utilized electrical eels to medication gout.
• Medieval dentists burned candles in sufferers’ mouths to kill invisible worms gnawing at their teeth.
• Renaissance physicians timed surgeries based on the location of the celebrities, and advised epileptics to gather clean blood from the newly beheaded.
• Dr. Walter Freeman, the world’s top-rated practitioner of lobotomies, practiced his craft whereas touring on relations tenting journeys, cramming the again of the station wagon with kids—and surgical tools—then hammering ice alternatives into the attention sockets of his sufferers in among hikes within the woods.

Strange Medicine is an illuminating landscape of clinical background as you’ve by no means obvious it ahead of.

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Healthy spelt was once a favourite, in addition to boiled hedgehog. Butter used to be to be refrained from, besides peacock and falcon. Hildegard hated junk food-it "spread slime within the belly . . . like a rotting manure pile"-but didn ' t begrudge the occasional deal with, equivalent to cookies made with gold. Hildegard ' s view of anatomy was once a bit extra doubtful. In books similar to Scivias (Know the methods) , she claimed that the 4 physically humors begun within the mind and went to the lungs, spleen, and liver, which was once attached to the ear. In males, humors went downward to "the virile organ" and ended up within the legs. ladies had tubelike passages of their skulls for menstruation. Hildegard proposal extra burping and hiccups have been precursors of melanoma. melancholy used to be caused by way of a waning moon, which caused an individual ' s liver to be perforated by means of tiny holes, "like cheese. " undesirable climate prompted postnasal drip, "so destructive slime collects. " working too quick may well slash the testicles and ship poisonous phlegm to the mind. Hildegard had her treatments. For j aundice, she knocked a bat mindless, then tied it to the loins. Tea made of the dried liver of a lion eased indigestion, and at the genitals of oversexed males she rubbed an ointment of sparrowhawk and sap from a tree. For epilepsy, she baked a cake made from mole ' s blood, duck's beak, and the ft of a feminine goose. Water during which a skinned mouse were boiled made a nutritious broth, and in the event you gathered sufficient pelts, she famous, there ' d be sufficient fabric for a pleasant coat. As a safety measure, Hildegard recommended an exceptional bleed within the convent bloodletting condominium. In concerns spiritual, Hildegard remained humble, educating that humankind used to be only a small a part of a bigger cosmos. As she wrote, purely the pelican, taking a look right into a individual 's physique and soul, actually knew what God had deliberate for them. Mondeville on cash enable medical professionals name in garments tremendous arrayed With sparklingjewels on their palms displayed. . . For while good dressed and looking out over-nice, you'll presume to cost a better expense; for the reason that sufferers continuously pay these medical professionals top Who make their calls in most interesting garments dressed. -From the routine Sanitatis of Salerno (twelfth or 13th century) Treating a Turkish pasha, the surgeon Solon took a wide cost and allowed his sufferer to leisure. The pasha died abruptly, and Solon correctly fled the jurisdiction. however the pasha's neighbors stuck as much as him at the Dalmatian coast and sawed Solon, and his son, in part. whilst King John of Bohemia' s eye health practitioner didn ' t remedy his cataract, the king had him sewn right into a sack and thrown into the river. Henri de Mondeville, in addition to almost some other trendy medieval health professional, warned colleagues to prevent the " not easy circumstances, " and tough consumers too. " [H] e should not combine himself up with [the] determined ones , " de Mondeville wrote. Of sufferers unwilling to pay, Gilles de Corbeil, the twelfth-century urologist, wrote: [PJromises are carried through the wind. . . whereas discomfort torments the sufferer, his love ofgiving is so much fervid; it truly is then it is advisable draw the agreement.

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