Medicine isn’t always pretty but it has come along away. For our ancestors a trip to the doctors was almost as risky as the illness itself. While the below cures might seem extreme and pretty gross to us now they were the steeping stones to modern medicine today. One of them is even still being used. A warning though this article may not be for the sqimush


1. Artificial leech: We all know that bloodletting was a common treatment since medieval times. The problem is that leeches are gross. In 1840 Baron Charles Louis Heurteloupe of France invented a solution an artificial leech. It was a pump attached to a set of needles, allowing the doctor to drain the blood and keep it for diagnosing illnesses. It was commonly used to treat fevers and inflammatory illnesses.

Source: http://phisick.com/article/breathing-a-vein/artificial-leeches/

2. Hemiglossectomy: Stopping stuttering was a somewhat of an obsession for Victorian doctors and scientists, it even lead to some pretty awful experiments. But probably the worse treatment was to make a long slit in patients tongue. It was first done by J. F. Dieffenbach a Prussian doctor in the 1840’s. Probably the worst thing was it was done without any anesthesia.

Source: https://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/what-doesnt-kill-you-5-strange-historic-cures/

3. Trepanation: For ancient and medieval doctors seizures and mental illness were a mystery. An early theory was that demons and later pressure trapped by the skull was the cause. The solution just drill a big hole in their head to let it out. There were all sorts of ways this was done because almost every culture at some point tired it. It’s insane that ancient people were doing such a dangerous and delicate surgery at least 7000 years ago.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160826-why-our-ancestors-drilled-holes-in-each-others-skulls

4. Maggots: We already mentioned leeches but another gross parasite saw use in medicine. Maggots were used and still are for cleaning wounds. When a serious wound was left untreated or a person had a serious burn there is dead flesh that needs cleaned out before it causes serious infection. Maggots oddly enough are a very clean option for this since they only eat dead flesh. This means keeping any tissue that’s still living and that speeds healing.

Source: https://web.stanford.edu/group/parasites/ParaSites2006/Myiasis/history.html

5. Rib Resection: Pneumonia was a lethal threat before good antibiotics came out. Rib resection was an emergency surgery used to save patients that were basically drowning to death. A surgeon would remove a patients rib to allow them to access a lung, then they would put a small hole in the lung and drain out the fluid. This was a dangerous surgery since the punctured lung would often not heal.
Source: http://www.cracked.com/article_20059_10-old-timey-medical-treatments-inspired-by-your-nightmares.html