From placing leeches on the neck to treat a cough to using crocodile dung to prevent pregnancy, a number of medical treatments that now seem unusual were once commonplace. While a few of these remedies may have been effective, most were either useless or actually counterproductive to good health. Even today, there are alternative and fringe treatments considered bizarre by mainstream medicine yet used by hundreds of thousands of people.
Bizarre Medicine: Unusual Treatments and Practices through the Ages offers a fascinating look into the history of medicine. Entries are organized by disease or medical condition and explore the folk and traditional "cures" used to treat them. Explanations are provided for why some treatments may have worked and why others may have done more harm than good. In addition, entries provide a clear description of the causes, symptoms, and current treatment options for each condition based on current scientific understanding. Each entry also discusses the condition’s enduring impact on society and the arts.
- An introductory essay creates a robust conceptual framework for readers, allowing them to better understand the entries that follow
- Entries not only explore unusual treatments but also provide a clear explanation of how the medical condition is understood and addressed today and how it has impacted society through the ages
- A glossary defines terms that may be unfamiliar to readers
- An extensive back-of-book bibliography serves as a gateway to further research and study