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Join Ehris and Velya for a funny and factual exploration of colonial “quackery.”
History should never be boring!
Was there scientific basis behind “quacky” colonial cures?
The history of medicine is filled with stories of strange tonics, outlandish remedies, and curious “cures.” Toads, snails, mashed potatoes, mandrake, and bear grease were commonly prescribed. While some of these ingredients sound crazy, there’s logic behind many of them!
For instance, snake oil hasn’t always been just a euphemism for quack medical treatments. For centuries, oil from the Chinese water snake was an actual treatment used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve joint pain. Today, we know that snakes are a rich source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid containing anti-inflammatory properties.