Horrible Ancient Medical Practices we still have Today

Mar 07, 2021 By Kayode Oseh
Medical science and its advancements have propelled humans so far ahead that its rudimentary foundations can easily be discarded as crumbs from bygone eras. But as it has turned out to be, it seem that there are still a lot of practices from the ancient times that we will continue to find it difficult to replace. Not that they do not have alternatives but because they seem to still be very reliable. 
Here are some horrifying or rather barbarous ancient medical treatments that are suppose to be outdated, but they still some how made it into our modern era for some clever reasons.  

Maggot Therapy

Right from the days of JOB in the Old testament, was the use of this medicine, the "maggot therapy". It is famous for its healing effects, and its usefulness has continued through out history. It was one of the healing processes adopted during the American civil war, where maggots was used to cure soldiers of their infected injuries. 


Trepanation is a gruesome but effective medical procedure our forefathers engaged in. It involves drilling a hole deep into the skull in order to cure certain diseases. While today's headaches would call for Panadol or aspirin, headaches during the Paleolithic and Medieval eras called for trepanation. Scientists believed that the most common medical reason for trepanation was to relieve pain from skull trauma or to cure neurological disease like seizures, cerebral hemorrhage, depression and other mental problems. Some form of trepanation still exist today with the modern name "craniotomy". 

Leech Therapy

This therapy has been around for thousands of years. It used to be a medical practice of the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that the therapy helps to restore blood balance and improve circulation. During a session, live leeches attach themselves to the target area -- they draw blood and prevent blood from clotting. One could loose a significant amount of blood in less than 30 minutes with this therapy. But it has a lot of healing abilities. This barbarious medical practice is still around today and still doing wonders in the field of medicine.  


In the olden days, people passed through painful processes in order to get their injuries healed. While today there are several antibiotics one could use to treat wounds and cuts, in the middle ages, fire was the only reliable antibiotics. People burned open flesh in order to prevent blood loss and infected injuries. This barbaric medicine still exist today but in a refined form. Electrosurgery is the modern way of cauterization that relies on electricity to generate the heat needed to achieve doctor's objectives. However, the process is constantly undergoing modifications day after day and becoming safer.

Cesarean section

Cesarean section was a method of childbirth originally adopted by the ancient Romans. They did this in order to rescue babies from their dead or dying mothers during delivery. The aim was to save the baby's life and to increase the state's population. Physicians at that time believed women couldn’t survive the procedure, so they only employed it as a last attempt to save infants. However, Roman law under Caesar had decreed that all women who were so fated by childbirth must be cut open; hence Its name, "Cesarean", meaning Caesar's decree. 
Because this medical process was majorly focused on saving the baby's life before the mother passed on, it remained primitive and rough during that time. However, over the years and after understanding much about the human anatomy, doctors began to realize that cesarean section could be a safe birth method whereby nobody needs to die. So with the advancement in medicine, the cesarean section became a normal method and a safe way to give birth till date. 

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