Honey, Mud, Maggots, and Other Medical Marvels


Full Title: Honey, Mud, Maggots, and Other Medical Marvels – The Science Behind Folk Remedies and Old Wives’ Tales

Authors: Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein

Genre: Reference/History

Page Count: 279

Publication Date: 1997

Summary: This book covers the history of folk medicines that have been dismissed by most people as outdated but that modern medicine has proved to be beneficial.  Topics covered include: maggots, honey and sugar, mineral water baths, eating clay and earth, bloodletting, leeches, pus, licking wounds, urine therapy, circumcision, contraception, and cellophane bandages.

Recommended: Yes.  The information is researched very well and the topics are thoroughly covered.  However, the authors get a little opinionated about the changes that need to be made in medicine in the last few chapters.

Watch Out For:  One use of the word “damn” and the chapter on contraception talks about sexuality in various forms.

Noteworthy Excerpts:  “One of the most common recorded uses of earths is as a food supplement during periods of famine, for in addition to its mineral content, a small amount of clay will remain in the stomach for a long time, dulling the appetite.”      “From the mid-1970s to the present, leeches have been used in tissue transplants after skin loss, in breast reconstruction after mastectomy, in the treatment of periorbital hematomas, or severe black eyes, in the reduction of postoperative swelling, and in the reattachment of of severed fingers, scalps, ears, lips, and penises when surgical repair of veins is incomplete or impossible.”

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