5 barbaric methods of treatment practiced by our ancestors
Folk remedies used to treat ailments in Russia were numerous and varied. The carriers of knowledge about the means and methods of treatment in the villages were healers, whose authority remained high even at the end of the XIX century, when in Zemstvo doctors worked in the Russian Empire. Distrust of representatives of official medicine was explained by the fact that the people considered all diseases to be the machinations of evil spirits. And who better to cope with evil spirits than a witch doctor - a person who is with the devil on "you"?
It is the originality and variety of methods of treatment that ethnographers explain the great popularity of folk healers among Russian peasants. The doctor always treats as standard - prescribing identical-looking pills and injections. And the healers had a huge number of different spectacular techniques, well flavored with conspiracies and elements of the show. Interestingly, in some cases, village healers were more effective than doctors — due to self-suggestion.
To prepare this medicine, they took an ordinary oven brick that was in use. It is advisable to take it from the back wall of the furnace - otherwise it was impossible to vouch for the therapeutic effect. The brick was ground into powder, then poured with vegetable oil and boiled.
The resulting mixture, still warm, was soaked in linen cloth, which was applied to bruises and fractures. The oven for the inhabitants of Russia has long been a native and somewhat mystical thing, so its healing properties were believed unconditionally. In addition, she was in every house and it was not difficult to get "brick oil".
Since the disease was considered the machinations of evil spirits, people were sure that it could be deceived or frightened. To do this, the most unusual and even creepy things were used, such as soap used to wash the dead man, as well as the water left over from this event. Parts of dead animals were also sometimes used.
Ethnographers have described a case when in one of the villages near Pskov, a man with a fever was covered with a fresh uncut sheep skin with his head. The patient in delirium had a fever in the form of a woman who urged him to remove the dirty and smelly skin. Interestingly, this case ended with the complete healing of the patient.
Since pagan times in Russia it was believed that fire has a special, cleansing power. Of course, this was actively used in their practice by healers. An ordinary fire obtained by technological methods was not suitable for these purposes, as was the one that burned in a home oven.
The healing flame could only be obtained by friction. To do this, they took two dry logs, to one of which they attached handles, like a two-handed saw. They were rubbed against each other until the dry moss, placed at the point of contact, began to smolder. It took a lot of time and effort, so the task was performed by several pairs of strong men who constantly replaced each other.
The resulting fire was considered a sure remedy for deadly epidemics — people disassembled it into huts and burned splinters to ward off the attack. Of course, in this case, only autosuggestion worked, but, interestingly, faith in the "living fire" was so great that it often helped to defeat the pestilence.
The products of human activity, as well as wild and domestic animals, were actively used by healers to combat a variety of ailments. Cow manure was considered an excellent remedy for toothache and gum disease, and sparrow droppings treated warts and other skin diseases.
To cure a person from a cold, they often arranged a "manure bath" for him. To do this, horse droppings, oatmeal chaff (waste obtained during threshing) and table salt were poured into a large container. All this was poured with hot water, where the patient was then put. From above, the unfortunate was covered with a thick cloth so that the healing vapors would not be wasted.
After this procedure, the patient was put on the stove, watered with a tincture of capsicum and tightly covered so that he sweated well. It was a very dangerous procedure that people with heart disease and children could not survive - overheating of the body killed much more effectively than a banal cold.
Urinotherapy was also used in folk medicine. Children's urine was considered an effective remedy for burns and insect bites. It was believed that it had disinfecting properties. Concussion, dropsy and other dangerous diseases requiring urgent intervention of professional physicians were also treated with urine.
When bitten by poisonous snakes and even rabid animals, the queen bee was considered a sure remedy. The insect was dried and made into a powder, which was used in two ways at once. A portion of the medicine was divided into two parts, one of which was applied to the wound, and the other was swallowed.
From rabies, this method definitely helped — in this disease, the incubation period can last up to a year and the imminent death of a person months after the bite was no longer associated with him. Venomous snake bites were sometimes smeared with earwax, and in particularly severe cases they could completely lubricate the patient's body with tar.Toads have been an indispensable source of inspiration for healers and healers of all stripes for many centuries. Powders, ointments and potions were made from them. Live toads were tied to wounds as compresses, and when the animals died, they were replaced with live ones.
As we can see, folk healers were resourceful and the most unexpected things could go into business. The death of the patient was usually accepted with humility, referring to the will of God and other circumstances beyond the control of the healer, but miraculous cures, which, despite all the efforts of the healer, sometimes occurred, significantly raised his authority in the district.
Strange methods of treatment have been used and continue to be used not only in our country, but also in many other countries of the world. Nowadays, Asia occupies a leading position, where the imagination of healers is truly limitless.
Keywords: Village | Pets | Brick | Witchcraft | Peasants | People | Fire | Rus | Healer | Epidemic