Ancient medicines – controversial and merciless (11 photos)

Category: Nostalgia, PEGI 0+
23 March 2024

Medicine is a fusion of science and art. And in art, to become famous, you need to think freely and be creative. The aesculapians of antiquity demonstrated it, using the most unexpected methods, techniques and substances to pervert the treatment of patients.

In the mid-17th century, King Charles II, lying on his deathbed (after bloodletting, blowing hellebore into his nose, and cutting his scalp did not help), drank a decoction of crushed human skulls and alcohol, called “Royal Drops.”

Several centuries earlier, in the 12th century, mummies powder was used to treat headaches, stomach pains and ulcers. The powder was made from mummies stolen from Egypt.

There are many similar examples. But the icing on the cake is the use of not just anything, but the excrement of various creatures to treat various diseases.

And their descriptions are presented not in some collection of anecdotes, but in a completely serious work of 1747 - a book called Pharmacopoeia Universalis: or, A New Universal English Dispensatory (Universal Pharmacopoeia: or New Universal English Pharmacy), written by the doctor of medicine R. James.

What is noteworthy is that not only animal waste was used for treatment, but also a variety of their parts, including the head, eyes, blood, lungs, brain, heart, fat, testicles, urine and much more. And all this to make people feel better.


It was believed that dry droppings hung around children's necks eased their coughs and ensured easy teething.


Pounded and sifted with cress seeds, pigeon droppings relieve chronic disorders such as gout, dizziness, headache and others; internally it drains the stone and causes urine.


Pliny believed that this bird, roasted with myrtle berries embedded in it, cured dysentery. Dung mixed with vinegar removes freckles.


Rat droppings were considered a unique remedy for suppressing menstruation.


Manure has a cooling and drying effect. Therefore, it is very effective in jaundice and other disorders. When used externally, it treats spleen tumors, goiters, calluses, warts and other skin tumors.


Dung, dried and ground into powder and soaked overnight in wine, has a special property of curing dizziness and epilepsy.


Human excrement has a soothing and strengthening effect, and is therefore very useful in alleviating pains caused by spells, in maturing ulcerative carbuncles, and in curing phlegm, especially of the throat, as in edema, and in preventing inflammation of wounds; some even prescribe it internally for edema, to suppress fever, and to treat epilepsy.

Decades have passed, and nothing has changed in terms of the use of poop as an alternative medicine. In some places, people calmly use cow pats and goat balls as a therapeutic means to eliminate swelling from bruises and blows.

In India, cow dung has been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries. A mixture of cow dung and cow urine is believed to cure diabetes, cancer and arthritis. Considering that medicine in this country is at a high level, this makes you think.

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