5 Weird but Real Medical Techniques that Doctors Used in the Past

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Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

Before the advancements of medical science were thing, doctors used to try all types of bizarre and crazy treatment techniques on their patients. Although it has been years that we are over those weird techniques, the journey to this day is full of horrors, sorrows, wrong decisions, mistakes and lastly, brutality. Here is a list of some weird medical techniques which can take us back to the painful memory lane.

 Blowing the tobacco smoke in rectum

Tobacco was introduced by the Americans in Britain, nearly four hundred centuries ago. It was believed that tobacco smoke can be used as an enema to treat a number of diseases. This tobacco enema means to blow the patient’s rectum with smoke. This bizarre technique was also used in drowned cases for proving them warmth and initiate respiration. Even the Royal Human Society’s resuscitation kits also included the supply to create a tobacco enema. After this method was published in in The Lancet in 1746, people started to use this method for a number of other diseases as well such as headache, cramps, cholera etc. a century later, in 1800, scientists were able to discover the dangers of tobacco smoke for health and eventually this practice was declined.

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Cutting the teeth in infants

Ever though that cutting teeth can ‘cure’ any disease? A few centuries ago, the infant mortality rate was extremely high and there was no apparent reason behind it. Children were most likely to die before their second birthday which is also the same time when they grow their teeth. Interestingly, the medics of that time thought that this is not a coincidence so they blamed teething was behind infant death. They come up with this cutting the teeth, a weird medical technique to save them from dying. From 1839 to 1910, there were thousands of deaths reported by teething. Those who survived suffering so many diseases for which, they were subjected to more bizarre treatments causing them pain, trouble and what not.

Using urine to whiten the teeth

In ancient times, urine was considered as a commodity and there were people who used to collect it from public urinals. There is some evidence of the special urine tax on people who used to sell this precious golden fluid. Urine has a big market because of its multiple uses, such as producing the gunpowder, or applying on leather to soften it. But the most bizarre is to use human urine as a natural teeth whitener as the ammonia in urine can remove dental stains.

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Adding heroin to relieve a persistent cough

A persistent cough is disturbing, annoying and can affect a person’s routine, but all thanks to the cough syrups, people don’t have to try weird medical techniques to treat it. Bayer, a famous German pharma company added heroin, a highly addictive and dangerous ingredients inside it’s over the counter cough syrup in 1898. This ingredient was added in the place of opium, which was associated with thousands of abuse cases. This new product was marketed as a non-addictive substitute for morphine but within a few months, it showed its high addictive potential. Eventually in 1924, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put a ban on using, ordering, manufacturing or selling heroin in every form.

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