People Had Some Crazy "Cures" For The Black Plague

People Had Some Crazy "Cures" For The Black Plague

The Black Plague wiped out a third of the Europe's population in the 14th century, so it's no wonder people were desperate to keep the disease away. Unfortunately, medical technologies at the time were far from what they are today-ineffective to say the very least. One such "cure" was bathing in urine, which was believed to relieve victims of the plague's symptoms. One of the most bizarre cures may be the Vicary method, which was created by English doctor Thomas Vicary. The technique involved strapping the shaved butt of a live chicken to your swollen lymph nodes. Eventually the chicken would get sick, and it would be washed and restrapped to the lymph nodes repeatedly until only the chicken or victim was healthy. People also ate crushed emeralds, smeared themselves in human feces, lived in sewers, and more to ward off the disease.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The Black Plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. (0:38)

  • 2

    There hasn't been an urban outbreak of the plague since 1924-25 when one struck LA. (1:05)

  • 3

    Pneumonic plague is the deadliest form of infection. (1:59)

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