Nobody wants to fall sick. But hey, we don’t always get what we want, isn’t it? Getting ill is a reality of life. It is inevitable. But thanks to the constant medical advancements, getting cured has become so much more easier now.

However, our ancestors weren’t half as lucky. “Why?” you ask. Well, just take a look at these ‘horror remedies’ employed to cure diseases many years back and you’ll know.

1. Oh, so you have a migraine? Let’s drill a hole in your skull.

In ancient times, irrespective of whether you had migraine or were suffering from anxiety attacks, people thought you were possessed by a demonic spirit. Hence, to make an exit for those spirits, a hole in the skull was deemed necessary.

Because physics.

The ‘cure’ came to be known as trepanation, and is still used till date. You know what to do the next time you have a headache.

2. “Doctor, my wife is having mood swings!”. “Oh, lemme rub her vagina.”

Everybody experiences mood swings, right? Nothing wrong with that. However, back in the day, having mood swings meant you needed a doctor asap. Especially if you were a woman.

And what exactly would a doctor do? Nothing. Except rub your vagina gently until you climaxed.


Such was the demand for those magical rubs, that finally, vibrators were invented. True story.

3. Oh, so you stammer? Let’s cut off half your tongue.

If you stammered in the 18th and 19th century, you had bigger problems than being ridiculed by your peers. Curing a stutter in that era meant that the doctor would’ve cut off half your tongue.

No kidding.

Also, nobody knew what anesthesia was in those days which meant that the ‘patient’ used to be fully awake during the procedure.

Little wonder then that most of them bled to death. Ouch!

4. Wanna save yourself from the plague? Store your farts in a jar.

As if living in the middle ages wasn’t tough enough, you had the bubonic plague a.k.a black death to add to your misery.

Today we know that plague is spread by rodents and fleas but back then, doctors (ahem) believed that it was being spread by toxic vapours.

So, they thought that just like a diamond cuts another diamond, one poisonous vapour will counter the effect of another.

So, they asked people to start storing their farts in a jar and smell them before going out.

Smell. Survive. Repeat.

5. “Did you use protection?” “Oh don’t worry. Apply some crocodile shit.”

Today we might be having tons of options to practice safe sex but back in the old days, promiscuity was only rewarded with babies.

However, Egyptian women thought it would be a good idea to apply some crocodile dung down there to keep the babies at bay.

6. “Oh my God! He’s dead!”. “Well, let’s try to revive him by blowing nicotine up his ass.”

Before we had the mouth to mouth resuscitation, doctors in the 18th century had a better idea. Blowing nicotine smoke up presumably dead people’s arse in order to bring them back to life.


“But why nicotine?” you ask. Well, apparently, nicotine helped the heart beat faster.

Also, the method was used primarily on people who’d drowned because doctors thought smoke would dry up moisture inside the victim’s body.

7. Suffering from hemorrhoids? Let’s stick a hot iron rod up you-know-where.

You know what’s more painful than the hemorrhoids? Some badass doctor sticking hot iron rods up your ass to pull them out. 

But that’s exactly what the doctors used to propagate during the middle ages.

What’s more Hippocrates even went a step ahead and told it was a better idea to pull them out simply using your fingernails.


8. “Doctor, I have a toothache!” “Here, have some cocaine.”

Now don’t get any ideas, people. While most 19th century doctors advocated the use of cocaine as a local anesthetic, celebrated neurologist Sigmund Freud used to distribute it amongst his patients (kids included) like candies.

9. Have syphilis? Let’s replace it with malaria instead, shall we?

Taking the idiom dushman ka dushman dost hota hai to literal levels, syphilis patients used to be treated with blood taken from malaria patients. Doctors used to argue that malaria can kill syphilis bacteria.

There used to be just one tiny problem, though. Most patients used to die from malaria itself.

10. Oh so you have cataracts? Let’s push that thing at the back of your eyes. With pointed needles.

Okay, just thinking about that sent shivers down our spines. Why would anybody do that? And that too without anesthesia? That’s just insane! Regardless of the insanity, that’s exactly what used to happen; a doctor used to push that ‘opaque matter’ to the back of the eye. In other cases, he used to ask the patient to blow it out of their nose. Nasty!

Needless to say, the ‘procedure’ didn’t help anybody with a majority of the patients losing their eyesight. 

I’m never complaining about injections again. Ever.