Strange Cures from the Past for Whooping Cough

Historical research for my sequel to The Tomorrow Country, turns up a lot of weird stuff.

Fish3Cures for whooping cough, for instance.

In Ireland, in the 1600s, folks put a live trout in the sick child’s mouth then released it into the river to carry off the disease.

In England, parents let a sheep breathe on the child, then laid the youngster down where the sheep had been sleeping. If that didn’t work, the parents could always dig a hole, hold the child head down in it with a turf over him until the child coughed.

Breathing in fumes from hot road tar was tried. Or you could set the sufferer on a donkey, facing the donkey’s tail, and hand him or her a roasted mouse to eat.

Amusing as these efforts seem today, they were often the only resort of desperate parents who would try just about anything to save their baby.  Lucky us that we don’t have to fricassee mice or chase the paving machine.  I wonder how much today’s medicine will seem benighted and hilarious in a couple of hundred years.



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