Isn’t it weird how the world changes? Even when it comes to medicine, fashion has changed down through the ages. For example, in Henry VIII’s day, if anyone got sick, including the so called upper class, medical men would come bearing jars of leeches. Leeches? Yes, the hungry little suckers would be attached to the human body and left to suck away until they were plump with blood. It was thought that by bleeding the poor patient, it would suck out whatever was ailing the poor thing. Even high blood pressure was thought to be caused by there being ‘too much blood’ in the body and a vein was promptly opened to let out the excess! Of course, this left the patient too weak to fight off whatever was ailing him in the first place and they often died of blood poisoning occasioned by the cut.
In the dark ages, all medicines, including natural remedies, were banned because the church decreed that sickness was a punishment by God and that the sick person was being made to suffer because of his sins. But these days things have cooled down in the religious sector, and may we all be grateful for that.
Aromatherapy in its modern form came about in the early years of the twentieth century. One man named Gattefosse burned himself by accident. Having nothing else to put on it soaked the hand in a lavender infusion and was surprised to see that the hand healed quite quickly. This was truly the birth of natural medicine in the modern world.
The Chinese, of course, had been using aromatherapy and natural medicines for centuries before the western world caught on to it. Even today, many people around the world would rather visit a Chinese herbalist than go the modern route.
But even with today’s modern medicine, there are still some ‘throw backs’ to the dark days. Are you aware that hospitals use purpose bred maggots to clean wounds? This is horrible right? But it is true. If there is a wound with necrotic (dead) tissue that is difficult to clean, these little eating machines are put into the wound and allowed to munch away all the dead tissue until they clean the wound completely. They only eat dead tissue so there is no harm to the living flesh. The patient heals quicker and the wound closes much faster without the dead tissue. All they have to contend with is the psychological effects of knowing that maggots have literally been making a meal of them!
Another weird and wacky theory is urine therapy. Yes, you have it. People actually believe that by swallowing small amounts of their own urine actually can cure many diseases in the body. Of course many people would not contemplate doing this but there is some research out there that seems to prove the theory. Perhaps this is where the phrase ‘getting your own back’ hits a little too close to home!