Facts

Cocaine, Chloroform, and Other Old-Timey Medical Cures | Mental Floss List Show | 530

Feeling sick? You might not want to try these historical medical treatments. In this week’s episode of The List Show, Erin (@erincmccarthy) shares 28 old-timey medical cures that you should probably avoid using at all costs. From “asthma cigarettes” (designed to cure, not cause, asthma) to ground up bird beaks, these historical medical cures prove that medical science wasn’t always much of a science.

From the superstitious and ineffectual to the downright dangerous, these old-timey medical cures will make you glad it’s the 21st century. Watch this week’s episode to find out the weird ways medical professionals throughout history treated toothaches, sniffles, epilepsy, and even sadness. Can you guess what illness boiled carrots were thought to cure? What about the diseases gunpowder, saffron, and sour cream were used to treat?

In case you forgot, The List Show is a trivia-tastic, fact-filled show for curious people. Subscribe here for new Mental Floss episodes every two weeks.

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