Behold, these strange treatments!

Throughout the world, before and after modern medicine became established as the norm, strange cures and therapies have been common. Here’s a peek at some of them…

Illustration of man getting his ears cleaned with a candle

Candles to clear out ear wax

It’s bad enough that people don’t hesitate to push an earbud inside the ear to clean it, but it turns out that there’s another purported treatment for cleaning the ear of its wax and toxins that is much scarier: ear candling! Yes, it involves a hollow burning candle, with the other end in the ear canal.

Illustration of woman being offered activated charcoal burger and ice-cream

“Dark” treatment

Activated charcoal has been a major fad in recent years — black burger buns, black ice creams, black dosas, and even juices and biscuits! Where did it all start? Activated charcoal slurry was used in medical treatment to remove toxins from the body. Thinking that this would be the perfect cleansing magnet to drag out shady molecules and microbic pests is far from the truth!

The incredible Vitamin O

The metal germanium, marketed under the fancy name of “Vitamin O”, is supposed to cure everything from diabetes and hepatitis to asthma. Supporters claim that it achieves fantastic results by stimulating the body’s immune system. Others disagree strongly. From the way it looks, germanium is better off for use in solar panels and fibre optics.

Illustration of man smelling a flower

Flowers and dewdrops as medicine

There was a time when illness was a matter of philosophy — it was the result of a disagreement between the soul’s purpose and a person’s actions. The remedy? It turns out the secret lay in flower petals and dewdrops. Flower therapy was introduced by Bach who addressed emotional problems using different plants. His logic was that early morning sunlight hitting dewdrops on plants had a special power. His remedy involved collecting dew and diluting it in brandy to treat illnesses. But, it wasn’t easy collecting enough dewdrops for large-scale treatments. So Bach suspended or boiled flowers in spring water, blessed by good old sunlight, for use in his treatments.

Scrape out the negative thoughts

Gua sha or “coining” involves the use of a blunt tool to scrape the skin to relieve different ailments, ranging from headache to fever, by releasing all the negative energies. The tool could be a coin, jade crystal (blunt) or buffalo horn. As you’ll expect, this not only caused extensive skin scraping but also an immense amount of pain. Suddenly, the headache doesn’t seem so bad — a pain balm and a pillow sounds so much better!

Rebirth solution for problems

For those who philosophically ponder how it would work out if you could be born all over again, there’s a therapy just for that. While most times, rebirthing therapy focuses on quick and shallow breathing over a couple of hours, it could go beyond that, too. For instance, some therapists will put you in an enclosed space to mimic the womb and ask you to find your way out of it.

Illustration of man staring at the sun

Sun-gazing for eye ailments

We all agree that sunlight is essential and beneficial when exposed to in moderation. However, we’re told not to look at the sun directly and rightly so. The sun’s light is too bright and can damage the eyes. However, a physician called Bates believed otherwise. He claimed that many of his patients’ vision improved tremendously thanks to his sun-gazing recommendations. Incidentally, the gentleman also believed that spectacles were unnecessary and even harmful to the eyes!

Rama Ramesh
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Rama Ramesh

Rama Ramesh is a creative writer who has written stories and features for children’s magazines and has co-authored a series of nanotechnology books for kids.