14 Dumb Health Products Pretending To Be Ancient Secrets
The "wellness" market is thriving right now. They love to sell "ancient" health techniques, because apparently medicine was better when a typical diagnosis was "too much blood." But it doesn't take more than a few seconds of research to find out that anyone who promises to cure you with ideas that should've died out in the Middle Ages is likely full of it. And hey! I did that research!
Jade Vagina Eggs Are Some Paltrow Bullshit
Made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow on her website for women with a lot of extra time and money, Jade Eggs were advertised as a secret that was used by queens and concubines in the olden times. Inserting them into the vagina is supposed to "regulate hormones and menstrual cycles, prevent uterine prolapse, and increase bladder control."
They also have to be recharged once a month by moonlight, because werewolves and vaginas have a lot in common. All that for only $55-$66, depending on the model.
We kick off the list with this one because it's the perfect case study in "ancient remedy" nonsense. First, experts checked, and there's no evidence ancient Chinese royalty or anyone else ever used these. Second, even if they had, so what? Why in the world would that give the product more credibility? Do you think the average vagina was healthier a thousand years ago? You're in for a hell of a surprise, horny time travelers.
Also, they've been slapped with a $145,000 lawsuit for false advertising, so there's that. Still for sale, though!
Himalayan Salt Lamps Are Just Cute Lamps. That's All
This one is really funny to me, because it's a lamp, so it's obviously a fairly modern invention. However, advertisements talk about it as if ancient healers plugged these right into their cave walls. The lamps are supposed to "clear the air of electro smog," "reduce mood disorders," and even "improve the immune system."
However, the PROVEN health benefits are:
1.) It's a pretty lamp. Looking at pretty lamps can make you feel good.
2.) That's it.
Edible Clay Does Nothing, And Is Also Gross
Remember when you were a kid and your dumb mom told you not to eat dirt? Well guess what, MOM, the marketers of edible clay assert that it is an ancient healing technique used by cultures throughout the ages to cure just about anything, including colds, constipation, and even hair loss. Also, they kind of make it sound delicious. One website describes their $16/lb clay as "oily, tender-melts in your mouth. When stratified, biting produces a light crunch." Yum!
Stunningly, there is no proven benefit to eating clay. And ingesting too much might cause intestinal blockage, which hopefully is what you'd have assumed if you knew nothing whatsoever about the effects of eating clay. But you're going to see a running theme here, which is "ancient" techniques that people weirdly assume work specifically because of how stupid they sound. That's not how medical science works!
Jillly Juice Will Just Make You Poop
It takes a truly special person to rebrand explosive diarrhea as a health craze, but Jillian Epperly did it with her miraculous "Jilly Juice." Epperly claimed her juice could regrow lost limbs and cure cancer, autism, and homosexuality by ridding the body of a fungus called "candida," which lives in the gut. Symptoms of her miracle juice working real good included headaches, dizziness, and the aforementioned massive amounts of shit, which she refers to as "Waterfalls." That, umm, doesn't make it sound any better.
The recipe for Jilly Juice is just two cups of water, two cups of cabbage, and a tablespoon of salt, all left to ferment for three days. (She recommends drinking a gallon of it.) It's essentially brine, and the sodium content is so high that several people have accused her of causing strokes. Then again, maybe to get the full benefit, you need to access one of her $70/hour phone consultations. "You didn't ferment the cabbage enough, idiot!"
"Medical Astrology" Is Apparently A Thing
If you're sick of the stars predicting when you'll meet the man of your dreams, or what type of cheese you are, why not try asking them whether you have diabetes or not? It's marketed as a technique used by ancient doctors to diagnose illness by tying body parts to zodiac signs. If, for instance, your dick hurts, the doctor would look at what planet was currently in Scorpio (the dick sign), and if it was Mars (which is tied to inflammation), they would diagnose you with an inflamed dick. They would give you something to treat the inflammation and send you home to quietly die of syphilis.
You can still find an online course in it if you're interested in getting rid of $621 but don't have a trash can to burn it in.
Aryuvedic Oil Will Put A Lot Of Metal In Your Blood
Aryuvedic medicine is marketed as one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems, with origins in ancient India. It's supposed to help cure pain and manage problems with diabetes. It involves a whole range of treatments, including "blood purification, massage, medical oils, herbs, and enemas or laxatives."
Despite the fact that it's been around for more than 3,000 years, there have only been a few, awful trials involving those magical oils and herbs. The FDA warns that these products can be full of metal, and a study showed that 40 percent of the people who used them had elevated levels of lead and mercury in their bloodstream. It might also cause arsenic poisoning, which may be the best thing you can hope for from a mostly untested oil from the Bronze Age.
Aryuvedic medicine also promotes the practice of "oil pulling," which sounds like something you can ask for in a shady massage parlor, but is just an oral rinse intended to extract toxins from the body. Rinses are supposed to last as long as 20 minutes, depending on who you ask.
A few small studies have found that it may improve oral health, but probably so would swishing water around in your mouth for 20 minutes. Also, someone claimed that it once helped with a hangover one time. But again, so would actually drinking more water.
You'll Be Shocked To Find That There Are Few Benefits To Letting A Bee Sting You
According to proponents of bee venom therapy, early hunter-gatherers drew pictures on rocks depicting the honeybee as a source of medical treatment. This led to people stinging themselves with live bees with a near-religious fervor for "a variety of ailments, primarily neurological and immunological, including chronic pain, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis." That's what happens when modern eyes misread an early draft of the Spider-Man mythology.
Someone will point out that bee therapy is a real thing in actual medicine, but it's specifically to reduce the severity of allergic reactions to unintentional bee stings.
One advocate for the magic version of the therapy said on their blog: "If modern medicine is unable to help you, try bee venom therapy ... you have little to lose." Which really does summarize the snake oil industry in a nutshell. I'm not an expert, but failing to find any kind of actual relief and then stinging myself with a lot of bees sounds like losing to me.
Black Salve Will Literally Burn Off Your Body Parts
Black salve is advertised as a natural skin cancer treatment made from blood root which was originally discovered by Native Americans. It is supposed to destroy cancerous tissue, leaving only healthy tissue behind, but instead it mostly just indiscriminately burns away any part of your body that you put it on. So maybe don't plan on using it to get that wart off your nose.
Also, please don't look this up on YouTube. It is exactly what you expect it will be. That is, unless you're actually considering trying it. In that case, please spend an afternoon looking at videos and pics of people with gaping holes in their flesh.
Colloidal Silver Will Change Your Skin Color
People who believe in the powers of colloidal silver seem to think that it's a miracle drug which was used as far back as ancient Greece, but was destroyed by the rise of pharmaceutical antibiotics.
People have claimed that it can fight bacteria and viruses, prevent the plague, and even cure HIV, but what it mostly does is turn the skin an irreversible blue color, making you look like a Smurf with dysentery. It can also give you kidney damage and seizures, but that should be expected when you're engaging in something that sounds like a werewolf suicide technique.
Raw Water Is Gross And Overpriced
"Raw water" is the practice of collecting unfiltered, untreated water that could contain parasites, harmful bacteria, and chemical runoff. If you're wondering why someone would do the dumbest thing ever, the idea is that tap water is bad for you because it's treated with fluoride and other substances that people don't like because their tinfoil hats are squeezing their heads too tight. Also cavemen drank it, and they lived to the healthy age of ... 30.
Unless you want to go out and collect your own (don't), what is advertised as raw water is mostly just regular tap water in a fancy bottle being sold for $64. Look, I get that paying more money can actually help the placebo effect, according to at least one study. But please don't let these people get rich selling you bottles of magic water. That's just not good for society.
Hay Baths Will Only Make You Itchier
Yes, soon all of the most beautiful women in Hollywood will be fighting to sleep in a big dirty pile of hay. A spa in Italy has been offering these $160 hay baths as a technique used by farmers for centuries. They claim that farmers would fall asleep in piles of hay and wake up feeling especially refreshed, which you know is a lie if you've ever been in the same room as a hay bale.
Today they claim to have found a concoction of hay and natural herbs that can treat obesity, cramps, and stiff necks. You ... you know these people are laughing at you, right? They're just seeing what they can get away with? This is hay.
Related: Dude, It's Only June.
Vaginal Steaming Is A Stupid, Stupid Idea
Right away, the danger of this should be apparent. You can't say the phrase "vaginal steaming" without me reflexively never wanting to be in your presence again. It's the equivalent of suggesting a "Roman candle to the balls" therapy for guys. Apparently this ancient health treatment could be from Korea, or Greece, or Central America, and is used to cure infertility and urinary infections. None of this matters, though, because it's called vaginal steaming.
You're supposed to crouch over a bucket of steaming water that contains various herbs, such as rosemary, basil, and other pizza ingredients. Gynecologists advise against vaginal steaming, despite what Queen of Bad Ideas Gwyneth Paltrow says, because it's unnecessary, and also you might literally burn your vagina. Because obviously.
Apple Cider Vinegar Pills Won't Help You Lose Weight
Can you imagine being an ancient Egyptian, struggling every day to grow your own food, or being forced to build pyramids, and then at the end of the day you're just like, "Anubis, why am I still so FAT?" According to supporters of apple cider vinegar pills as a weight loss technique, this is a thing that happened. Supposedly the ancient Egyptians used apple cider vinegar for weight loss, but today it comes in convenient pill form! They're not harmful to the body, but they also aren't a magic cure-all for weight loss, obviously.
This should go without saying, but apparently, it doesn't, since this industry is raking in millions: The magical weight loss formula of the past was that food was really hard to come by, and everyone had to walk several miles a day just to perform routine tasks to keep their families from dying. Any "ancient" remedy that isn't just that is, at best, doing nothing at all.
Please Stop Trying To Turn Urine Therapy Into A Thing
Urine therapy has been around since ancient Egypt, but its modern trend was started by a man who, wouldn't you believe it, read a Bible verse in the early 1900s and took it to its craziest possible interpretation. And so now there are people who rub pee on their faces to cure acne, or drink it to lose weight. And hey, it's entirely possible that you won't feel like eating after downing a big cup of warm piss.
One woman even went viral on Facebook for drinking her dog's urine and claiming that it cured her depression. Oh. That's just kind of sad. Please don't drink urine. Thank you.
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