The human body still holds many mysteries, but most people feel fairly secure that when they aren’t feeling quite up to par, they can visit their friendly physician and receive medical treatment that will soon have them back on their feet. In ancient times, medicine was still working to cure individuals, but the methods and techniques used were quite different and not at all established to be safe or effective.
Strange But True Techniques
Most people would be reluctant to allow a doctor to drill a hole or two in their skull, but that is exactly what ancient people did across the globe as a cure for headaches and seizures. Without anesthesia or antibiotics, most people succumbed to this treatment very quickly.
Sheep Liver Diagnostics
Before blood tests and MRIs, figuring out exactly what was wrong with a patient was often a vexing conundrum for ancient doctors. One reliable method that was used was the family of the ill person or the doctor himself would sacrifice a sheep and examine the liver of the deceased animal for signs or marks that supposedly correlated with certain diseases. Sheep were highly valuable animals, so this method wasn’t used for your everyday colds.
Fire cupping is an ancient Chinese method for dealing with the chronic pain of arthritis and is claimed to alleviate depression, this technique involves placing pairs of small cups on a patient’s back and heating them with fire to create a vacuum against the patient’s skin, leaving small red marks. This method may also be used to treat congestion.
In ancient Greece, doctors of the day believed a woman’s uterus could travel among the body, especially when displeased due to lack of pregnancy and child-birth. To convince the womb to relocate to its proper location, foul smelling ointments were placed on the top portion of the body, under the logic that the uterus would avoid these odors.
Strange Techniques That Were A Leap Of Faith
Medical procedures were often a leap of faith, where the ill hoped for the best and doctors utilized strange concoctions and methods to rid the body of disease. These four unusual medical techniques were some of the strangest cures available in the ancient world and often did more harm than good.