In the past, many incredible and terrible things were used to cure. We will talk about some of them in this article. Did you know that cigarettes and opium were used to heal people? Or that nose job surgery and caesarean sections were available during ancient Rome? Or that Hersman of the Anus was an actual job? Check out some of the craziest, most disturbing practices in medical history!
Did you know that cigarettes and opium were used to heal people? Or that nose job surgery and caesarean sections were available during ancient Rome? Or that Hersman of the Anus was an actual job? Check out some of the craziest, most disturbing practices in medical history!
Did you know that smoking was actually good for you? And that by attaching your arm to your face you can actually get a new nose? Here are 6 surprising facts in medical history! 6) Cataract surgery was possible in the sixth century BC One of the oldest known medical textbooks is the Sushruta Samhita, written in Sanskrit from India. It is believed that it was written around 600 BC by Sushruta, who is thought to have been a physician and teacher working in a city in Northern India. His book provides detailed information on medicine, surgery, pharmacology and patient management from back in the day. Quite an incredible book! Sushruta recommended that his students practice their surgical skills on fruit, dead animals, and leather bags filled with water before practicing on real patients. Thank goodness! That wouldn’t make me nervous at all! One of the surgeries described in his book is cataract surgery. The patient had to look at the tip of his nose while the surgeon, held the eyelids apart with his (or her) fingers and used a needle to pierce the eyeball from the side. They would then sprinkle the eye with breast milk (yes you heard right), and put herbal medication on it. The surgeon used the tool to scrape out the clouded lens until the eye looked clear. During recovery the patient had to try not to cough, sneeze, or practically even breathe to avoid causing pressure in the eye. If the operation was successful, the patient would regain some vision, even if it wasn’t perfect. Hey, we’ll take it! 5) If you want a cure for everything, try theriac Emperor Nero’s physician Andromachus developed a potion with 64 ingredients, which became known as theriac. Most of the ingredients were herbal and probably not that exciting but, it also contained opium, and viper’s flesh. At first people though it was some kind of joke but during the times of plague it really became popular. It started to become known as a special and expensive cure for whatever you had. The opium is what probably made people feel better because opium helps to numb pain and help stop coughing and diarrhea. So I don’t know about the vipers flesh, but the opium is probably why people thought it was so amazing. By the 12th century, Venice was the leading exporter and theriac was a well-known concoction in European, Arabic and Chinese medicine. Theriac remained in some European pharmacies until the late 19th century. 4) Ugandan surgeons developed life-saving caesarean operations Birth by caesarian dates back to the time of the Caesars, when Roman law required the procedure to be carried out only if a woman died in childbirth.
Over the centuries, reports occasionally surfaced of caesarean sections saving the lives of both mother and baby, but even after the introduction of antiseptic methods and anaesthesia, caesareans remained a dangerous last resort. However in 1884 a white missionary doctor in Uganda went to a conference in France and reported that the operation was carried out with the intention of saving both lives. An African surgeon used banana wine as a disinfectant (and made the mother drink it a partial anesthesia.). He then made a vertical incision, going through the abdominal wall and part of the uterine wall, then opened it up just enough to take the baby out. They also removed the placenta and squeezed the uterus to promote contraction. According to the Doctors account, the mother and her baby were still doing well when he left the village 11 days later. The procedure appears to have been developed by the Banyoro people – quite a hit to the British ego since they thought everyone in the colonies were savages. 3) Herdsman of the Anus was actually a medical specialist position in Ancient Egypt Egypt’s system of medicine was the first to be set down in writing, but its history remained obscure until hieroglyphs started being decoded in the early 19th century. Since then, documents and depictions in tombs have shown that doctors had an extensive knowledge of disease and a rich pharmacopoeia of herbs, animal products, and minerals they would use. Doctor’s prescriptions were prepared according to precise recipes that included long lists of ingredients and their measurements, and took many forms including pills, ointments, inhalations and enemas.