The World’s Most Weird and Wonderful Health Remedies
In the Republic of Ireland, the use of seaweed baths in aid of healing and nourishment can apparently be traced back to the 12th century. The height of their use was in the 19th century, when there were approximately 300 seaweed bath houses in the country. Although there has been a dip in popularity, the seaweed baths are making a recovery and it shouldn’t be too hard to organize a trip to one if you’re in Ireland. While a bath in slimy seaweed may not sound the most appealing thing, the health benefits are undeniable and scientifically proven. Seaweed is a natural moisturizer and is great for the hair and skin. It contains natural anti-aging properties, and it is also claimed that it has a detoxifying effect on the body.
To the surprise and disgust of many of our German colleagues here at InterNations, snail syrup is used in Germany to combat sore throats and coughs. The success of snail syrup can be attributed to its apparent ability to thin mucus and reduce the urge to cough.
Baby Mice Wine
Baby Mice Wine — yes you read that correctly — is most commonly used in China. This “health tonic” said to combat anything from asthma to liver disease. In order to make the concoction, you’ll need between 10 and 15 baby mice, no more than two or three days old. This is very important for the quality of the wine. Also, please make sure that the baby mice are furless and that their eyes are closed. The recipe states that the mice should be drowned in the rice wine and left to ferment for a period of 12 to 14 months before the drink is ready to consume. Although an ancient tradition, Baby Mice Wine has few fans. Not only is the taste apparently reminiscent of gasoline, but its ethical record isn’t exactly squeaky-clean.
In India’s fourth most populous city, Hyderabad, there exists a natural remedy for asthma which is undeniably strange, and it goes by the name of Fish Prasadam. The treatment has been conducted in India for well over a century by the Bathini Goud family, who claim to have been administering their famous medicine since 1845. The treatment involves the swallowing of a live fish — murrel — which has a special paste in its mouth. The family claim that the paste as well as the movement of the fish down the esophagus will clear your throat and cure the asthma. The event happens just once a year however, and the family recommend coming at least three years in a row to be fully cured — so make sure you plan ahead!
In the region of South Tyrol, located in northern Italy, the hay bath is an ancient practice first brought about by Tyrolean farmers. According to many, the hay bath can help alleviate numerous aches and pains all over the body, removing all the unwanted toxins and revitalizing your muscles. The hay bath also stimulates the body’s metabolic processes and is even credited with the ability to strengthen the immune system. If you’re ever in the hills of Tyrol, why not give it a try!
Train Track Therapy
A very alternative, somewhat extreme, and by no means recommendable remedial craze is the train track therapy. In Indonesia, the use of train tracks as treatment for various conditions, from diabetes to high blood pressure, is growing in popularity. People seeking the electrical shock therapy lie down on the train track, with the top half of their body on one rail, and their legs or feet on the other. They then wait for the train to rattle past on the opposite track and absorb the small electric current which passes through the rails. While people claim that this does really help their symptoms, there has been no solid evidence of this, and there are definitely better alternatives — it’s probably best to avoid this one.
One of England’s oldest and most loved traditional remedies is the mustard bath. Not only do enthusiasts claim that a mustard bath can detoxify you, but they also believe that a good soak in mustard can alleviate the symptoms of cold and flu, muscle soreness, and even aid the body with circulation.
Dried Lizard Soup
Dried Lizard Soup — Hong Kong’s answer to all of your medicinal needs. This delicious soup should satisfy your taste buds at the same time as healing you, and there’s not too many medicines that can do that! The lizards are dried and then boiled in a broth with yams, dates, and onions. Advocates of the soup say that it helps to soothe sore throats, chesty coughs, and provides the body with energy. They also claim that the soup is effective in protecting against future viruses. Just be sure to boil both a male and female lizard in the soup for the best results!
One of the most well-known natural treatments of the modern era is the use of red garra (more commonly referred to as doctor fish) to help cure skin conditions. The fish work by nibbling off bits of dead skin, leaving it revitalized and healthier. The origin of doctor fish as a natural treatment to skin ailments can be dated back to the Turkey in the 19th century, and they are now used far more widely. If it’s skin problems that you need to get treated, then this might be just what the doctor ordered.
Peruvian Frog Juice
If you ask the Peruvian village dwellers of the Andean mountains, there is no better answer to your health problems than a lovely blend of frogs. Yes, frogs! It could be said that the use of this treatment has really come on leaps and bounds. Mixed with other ingredients such as the Peruvian maca root, honey, and various other healthy ingredients, it is claimed that the frog juice helps with numerous illnesses, from anemia to tuberculosis, from bronchitis to brittle bones. However, with the Titicaca water frog being an endangered species, we’d recommend avoiding this tonic in search of something else.