Modern medicine has come on leaps and bounds over the years, and this can make looking back at medicine’s past both alarming and terrifying. Many legitimate treatments from the past are, by today’s standards, completely barbaric and controversial, and it truly makes you value being alive today where treatments are more humane (but often still intimidating). Today we are taking a trip back in time to look at some of the most insane things that used to be legitimate medical treatments, so just keep these in mind the next time you complain about having to take a course of antibiotics.
10. Electrotherapeutics for Impotence
It is understandable that a man will try almost anything to cure impotence or infertility, but it was surely obvious that jolting your private region with electricity like Frankenstein’s monster was never going to work. This is what doctors believed back in the 1800s, however, when “electrotherapeutics” were seen as the cure to all kinds of health issues. There were kits sold, most famously the “Heidelberg Electric Belt,” which promised to bring back youth and vigor in men through the use of a belt with a constant electrical current passing through it. One medical historian, David Reynolds, stated “it is especially in the genital organs that electricity is truly marvelous. Impotence disappears, strength and desire of youth return, and the man, old before his time, whether by excess or privations, with the aid of electrical fustigation, can become 15 years younger.”