Did you know that a child can be cured of the whooping cough by passing it under the belly of a donkey?
The history of medicine in Britain is filled with the most bizarre and gruesome cures for many common ailments. Although enthusiastically supported by doctors of the time, many of these cures were often useless and often resulted in the death of the patient.
But strange and alarming though many of the cures may seem, some of them did in fact work and provide the basis of much of the medicine we take for granted nowadays. The use of herbs by medieval monks was remarkably effective - and still is today.
This highly entertaining and informative book will fascinate anyone who has ever wondered whether doctors really know what they are talking about - just don't try any of the cures mentioned at home! Or that weak eyes can be cured by the application of chicken dung - or alternatively be large draughts of beer taken in the morning?
Or that the juice extracted from a bucketful of snails covered in brown sugar and hung over a basin overnight was once used to cure a sore throat?
Nigel Cawthorne is the author of a number of successful true crime and popular history books. His writing has appeared in over 150 newspapers, magazines and partworks - from the
Sun to the
Financial Times, and from
Flatbush Life to
The New York Tribune. He lives in London.
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