Take A Trip?
Psychedelics like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) have a complicated history of being used as potential treatments for mental illness. Researchers studied LSD therapy in the 1950s and 1960s, and published numerous clinical papers involving more than 40,000 patients. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 then prohibited the drug’s medical use.
The “tapeworm diet” appeared in the early 20th century. Once thought to be an effective way to lose weight, but some tapeworm species are linked with malnutrition, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia and other health risks.
The vibrator emerged as an “electromechanical medical instrument” at the end of the 19th century to treat so-called female hysteria, of which symptoms included nervousness and trouble sleeping. Advertisements for vibrators could have even been seen in the pages of a Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog.
A make-it-yourself remedy to ease a sore throat once included the strange ingredient of Album graecum (which is dried dog dung), as written in the book “The Popularization of Medicine, 1650-1850.”
Coca-Cola As ‘Healthy?’
Coca-Cola was originally created by Dr. John Pemberton around 1886 as a “medicinal” formula and marketed as a “health” drink (it once contained cocaine, but the ingredient was later removed in 1903). Soda dispensers were even installed in some pharmacies in 1948.
Shock & Lobotomy?
Electroconvulsive therapy (which was first developed around 1938) and lobotomy (first performed on humans in the 1890s) were both procedures thought to “cure” homosexuality. Of course, contemporary science does not classify homosexuality an illness. Electroconvulsive therapy is, however, still a legitimate treatment for severe depression.
Smoke For Your Health?
Before anti-smoking ads became commonplace, there were pro-smoking ads. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the inhalation of fumes from burning tobacco was a suggested therapy for asthma.
The troubling myth that someone infected with a STD can transfer the disease by having sex with a virgin, thus curing themselves, dates back to at least the 16th Century, when the practice was first documented in relation to syphilis and gonorrhea in Europe. The myth continues in some parts of Africa, leading to many cases of reported child rape.
Heroin As Cough Medicine?
Heroin, chemically known as diacetylmorphine, was once prescribed to treat common ailments such as coughs, colds and pain–the drug was manufactured for such treatment by Bayer starting in 1898, according to BBC News.