10 Weirdest Medical Practices From Ancient Rome

Warning: the methods listed below are taken from the books of ancient authors who clearly understood less about medicine than modern doctors. Therefore, it is not necessary to apply these recipes: they do not help, and even harm. If you are concerned about your health, see a doctor.

1. Chicken manure broth and beaver meat for flatulence

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Some fans of the history of the Ancient World consider the Romans practically demigods: they built a mighty empire, created a developed system of law, all sorts of aqueducts were invented in the end. But in fact they were ordinary people and nothing human was alien to them. In particular, problems with intestinal gases.

And what should be done with this annoying symptom , causing ridicule and hostility of others? Roman doctors recommended drinking chicken broth from an old rooster. It was believed that it has a beneficial effect on the intestines.

But the broth is a useful thing, you say. However, there is another important point: a little bit of white chicken droppings should have been thrown into the soup.

If you do not want to eat this, the famous ancient polymath Pliny advised trying asparagus with cumin. But the most effective medicine that is guaranteed to get rid of gases is minced beaver meat with vinegar and rose oil. At the same time, it helps a lot with epilepsy, stomach diseases and paralysis. It seems to be.

2. Touching a menstruating woman and calf dung for gout

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Gout is a disease that causes excruciating acute arthritis, impaired kidney function and the formation of seals under the skin. At all times, it was a disease of the rich, who ate too much red meat, sweets and alcohol, and also led a sedentary lifestyle.

Roman patricians were familiar with this disease firsthand, so their doctors developed the best treatments for them.

So, Pliny points out that touching a menstruating woman can alleviate the condition. Where exactly to touch it and for how long, the scientist did not specify. In addition, this action perfectly heals scrofula, skin growths, fever and rabies – solid pluses, don’t you think?

If there was no woman at hand, you can rub the gouty nodes with a mixture of mustard, saffron, goat fat and goat dung – do not confuse, this is important! Calf dung boiled with lily bulbs is also an excellent remedy.

You can also rub yourself with a sea hare – this is such an animal from the seal family. Or wear shoes made from the skin of a Pontic beaver – it is not clear, however, what kind of Pliny had in mind.

And finally, the most effective, albeit a little cruel method : boil the fox in boiling oil. Cool the remaining liquid after this and drink. Get rid of gout !

3. Wolf bile and quince in honey for constipation

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Difficulty going to the toilet? The Romans know how to help you. Preserve raw quince in a clay pot in honey – the remedy will immediately relieve constipation.

You do not want? Then mix wolf bile with milk, salt and honey and pour the resulting mixture into your navel. Or add ox bile to crushed wormwood , having achieved a viscous consistency, and enter it into your anus .

4. Pomegranate and women’s milk for nausea

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For those who suffer from nausea, whether due to natural causes or after taking one of the aforementioned remedies, the Romans advised eating pomegranate and drinking its juice. But human milk helps best of all – it is especially effective if a woman has given birth to a boy and has already weaned him from her breast.

5. Crocodile meat and cheese for acne

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Acne was as much a problem for the boys and girls of Rome as it is for us today. But, praise Jupiter, there were effective ways to deal with this scourge. For example, rubbing the skin with minced crocodile meat with Cypriot oil. It helps a lot with acne and even removes freckles.

If you do not have an extra crocodile for beauty procedures lying around in the pantry, there is another way – baths with butter and sour-milk cheese. Rubbing the skin with leek leaves and myrrh with honey also helps .

Finally, the court physician of the emperor Theodosius, who ruled in the 4th century, advised to pass a cloth over his face, watching a shooting star. After this procedure, all acne will definitely disappear.

6. Swan fat and cow dung for warts

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Another common skin problem is warts . But even here, enlightened Roman doctors could suggest a treatment. You just need to take dry cow dung, mouse droppings or swan fat, burn it, breathe in smoke, and all kinds of growths on the skin will dissolve by themselves.

In addition, it is not bad to rub the warts with freshly picked peas, sea foam (from which, as you know, the goddess Venus, the most beautiful of women, was born), or white sea sand.

And if you are a wealthy citizen, treat problem areas with gold – this is the most effective.

The same Romans, who had neither precious metal, nor swan fat, nor the sea at hand, could wait until the 20th day of any month, lie face up on the road in the middle of the night, look at the moon, feel for any object nearby and rub their wart with it. .

7 Egg Yolks And Vulture Lungs For Dysentery

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It is now known that dysentery is an infectious lesion of the gastrointestinal tract, characterized by painful intestinal upset and diarrhea with blood. The Romans did not know the causes of this disease, and therefore its treatment was very peculiar.

So, it was noted that boiled lizard meat helps against dysentery. It is also not bad to include egg yolks with poppy juice and wine or pomegranate flowers in the diet. But the best thing is to chop the lungs of a vulture, mix it with wine and drink it in one gulp.

8. Cabbage for deafness and childhood diseases

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Modern nutritionists consider cabbage a good low-calorie source of vitamins and beneficial plant compounds. What they don’t know is that this vegetable also helps deaf people regain their hearing. At least, the Roman physician Cato the Elder claimed so.

The vegetable, according to his instructions, should be crushed, mixed with water and wine and dripped into the ears.

Cato, judging by his book On Agriculture, was very fond of cabbage and prescribed it to patients in general for any diseases. For example, he claimed that the vegetable cleanses the upper digestive tract, so it is good for constipation. Cato himself ate cabbage three times a day – boiled, raw, seasoned with vinegar – and believed that there was no diet more useful.

In addition, according to the ancient Roman physician, the urine of a person who ate cabbage acquired healing properties, so that it was possible to rinse babies in it (well, just for prevention).

9. Fox genitals and a chameleon in headache wine

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Tired of a headache? Pour wine into a bowl, soak the live chameleon in it, then sprinkle the liquid on the head. The advantage of this method is that the reptile is reusable. If you feed and care for your animal well, you will be provided with migraine medicine for a long time.

If there is no chameleon, you can touch the forehead with the trunk of an elephant. It is best if he is alive and has recently sneezed.

As a last resort, writes the encyclopedist Pliny the Elder, it is worth tying the genitals of a fox to a sore spot on the head.

If you do not work in a zoo and do not have chameleons, elephants and foxes, it is enough to saturate the fabric with menstrual blood, burn it, mix the ashes with rose oil and rub your head with this medicine.

10. Fried seahorses and boiled mice for incontinence

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If any Roman suffered from involuntary urination, the doctor could recommend him a reliable remedy: take a hyena’s bladder , soak it in wine and eat it. Thus, you can strengthen your own body – treat like with like, so to speak.

If there are no hyenas around, you can borrow a bladder from a wild boar and fry it, and then consume it orally. If there is no wild boar, brown it on the fire and eat the seahorse.

When a child suffered from incontinence, the good Pliny advised feeding him boiled mice.

It would also be nice to tie the genitals with linen or papyrus – you see, the Romans invented diapers long before the 20th century.

And finally, the most effective method : burn the penis of a pig, mix the ashes with wine and drink until you get drunk. Then urinate on your dog’s bed – it’s best not to think about his feelings – and the incontinence will pass from you to him.

True, then the dog will have to be treated, but Pliny did not write anything about this.

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