From the dangerous to the downright bizarre, we explore six of the strangest so-called natural remedies that definitely don't work.
Before the discovery of modern-day medicines, natural remedies were the only option. Whether you were suffering from the plague or a rotting war wound, doctors and apothecaries would claim they had a cure – but they very rarely did. In fact, some supposed remedies were potentially more harmful than the initial ailment. But many people still turn to natural ‘cures’ today. From buttered spiders to human corpses, we explore six of the strangest so-called natural remedies you should definitely avoid!
Venomous and fierce-looking, a rattlesnake is far from your average treatment. But shockingly, it was once thought that they could cure rheumatism. After killing the snake, the sufferer would skin it and then hang it to dry. Once the shriveled remains had aired out, they were added to a cup of corn whiskey. Drinking this concoction was thought to reduce inflammation and pain within joints, whilst applying topical ointments containing snake oil was also considered to ease these symptoms. What’s more, it was believed that consuming rattlesnake venom meant you wouldn’t feel the effects of alcohol – so it was used as a ‘cure’ for alcoholism!
Whilst ingesting rattlesnake venom isn’t likely to cause fatalities, the process of trying to catch and kill the snake definitely could! Once injected, the venom – which contains hemotoxic properties – immediately begins destroying living tissue. Necrosis, wherein the skin begins to decay, quickly sets in, and the victim’s blood also struggles to clot.
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