5 Quack Cures You'll Never Have to Endure...Hopefully
I research these topics in my spare time so I can share what I am passionate about with others. I'm a stay-at-home-Mom who homeschools three children - this is not my #1 priority. I like to add my own thoughts while I'm writing and keep it conversational throughout each piece. I like to keep things "light and fun", even when discussing dark subjects like true crime. I agree that my writing style is not for everyone and I apologize if you don't like it. All the opinions expressed in the following piece are my own. And yes, sometimes I use Wikipedia as a source but never solely.
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OMG. I just realized that I have not added to my Secret Library since JANUARY 2019! I think it’s high time for a new story.
Does your family have any weird cures for anything that ails you? There are standard ones like chicken soup when you’re sick but I don’t want to talk about those. I want to talk about the really weird ones. Like wrapping raw bacon around a splinter to pull it out or placing a hot spoon on a bug bite to make the itch stop. Quack cures are fascinating and I found some that are beyond strange! Enjoy.
1. The Pigeon’s Rump Cure
Yep, this cure involves a pigeon and it’s rump. In or around the 1840’s Karl Friedrich wrote a medical textbook, Handbook of the Medical Clinic. In a section addressing “eclampsia of children”, a seizure condition in children, Friedrich wrote the following:
“One remedy I must mention here whose unequivocal effects I have myself witnessed, however inexplicable the phenomenon. If one holds the rump of a dove against the child’s anus during a [seizure], the animal quickly dies and the attack ceases just as rapidly.”
Basically, while a child is in the midst of a seizure (particularly violent ones) you take a pigeon and press it’s ass to the child’s bare butthole. The bird eventually dies and the child is fine. What the actual fuck?! How did someone discover something like this? It doesn’t describe how the birds die so quickly but I’m assuming because it’s fighting for its life it struggles so hard that it just dies. Maybe it’s neck is broken?
Anyway, my mind is just blown that anyone would think of this, let alone actually try it.
Let’s be serious for a moment, is there anything that a little dab of cocaine can’t cure? I am obviously joking!! Cocaine has been used for many medicinal reasons. A few drops of a cocaine solution onto the eye would make it temporarily immobile as well as insensitive to pain. Used as a numbing agent for surgery. In 1900 you could even saunter into any pharmacy and buy one gram of pure cocaine for 25 cents!
When it came to children, it was used in small doses to stimulate the brain, help with upset stomachs, toothache drops, and coca wine came with instructions with dosages for children. And the cherry on top – it was praised as the cure to end shyness in children! Well yea, I bet. Any children would be talking your ear off if you gave them cocaine. OMG, I’m glad I don’t live in that time. My kids are already little chatterboxes.
3. Electrical Impotence Belt for Men
Seeing as how we live in the age of the internet, I am sure that you have seen some dumbasses playing with tasers and people being zapped by unprotected electric currents. Well, electric shock therapy used to be all the rage! It was used to treat psychiatric patients who were deemed “troublesome” and/or had schizophrenia. It was one of the top recommendations to cure depression in women. One of the primary issues with shock therapy was that patients would often forget their “treatment.” That led to a lot of questions about informed consent.
A special belt device was created just for me that struggled to “perform in the bedroom”. This belt would be strapped onto a man and his penis placed in the sleeve or loop. Then an electric current would “stimulate” the area to help reverse the effects of erectile dysfunction (ED). It was incredibly painful and it may have helped temporarily but it caused long term damage. Wow. Just wow. Men must have been desperate to do this more than once.
4. Sitting in a Dead Whale…
You read that right. In the late 1890s, a story began to circulate about a miracle “whale cure” for those that suffered from joint pain (aka rheumatism). An Australian man came across a whale carcass that had washed up on the shore while out drunk one night with some friends. This man was a funny man and decided to jump right in. He stayed in the rotten, bloated, foul-smelling beast for a few hours. When he emerged he stated that “the rheumatism from which he had been suffering for years had entirely disappeared.” Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
People began to flock to this small Australian town in search of this “miracle whale cure.” If an individual could tolerate it long enough, roughly 30 HOURS, then their condition would be cured. I think I would rather have the cocaine, to be honest. A hole just big enough for the patient would be cut into the dead whale. They would then be lowered down and only the patient’s head would be poking out.
So, who wants to go whale spotting?
5. Blowing Smoke Up Your Ass
This one has to be favorite. It was the one that inspired me to make this post. Way back in the 18th century, doctors would LITERALLY blow smoke up people’s assholes. They would do this to resuscitate people, mainly drowning victims. Kits for this procedure were commonly located around popular waterways. Similar to defibrillators and first-aid kits today.
A tube would be inserted into the rectum which was connected to a fumigator. Tobacco smoke was used because doctors believed that the nicotine would “stimulate the heart to beat stronger and faster, thus encouraging respiration.” They also believed that the smoke would “warm the victim and dry out their insides, removing any excess moisture.” I can kind of understand why they think a drowned person might need to be “dried out” but didn’t doctors know that the inside of the body is inherently moist? Even in the 1700s?
This “procedure” was also used to treat abdominal pain and to ease hernia pain.
Now, you can go frighten your family with useless knowledge! It’s what I do best.