People have always been concerned with ways to increase fertility. Throughout history, people have developed various treatments and remedies to increase their chances of conception – and they’re not always effective or safe!
Some of the treatments were bizarre and even dangerous. Here are ten ancient fertility treatments that you wouldn’t want to use today:
1. Drinking Animal Fluids
Some cultures believed drinking fluids from various animals, such as bulls, goats, or stallions, could increase fertility. However, no scientific evidence supports this practice, and it can also expose people to diseases.
2. Smoking Henbane
In ancient Greece, people believed smoking Henbane, a poisonous plant, could help women conceive. The plant contains harmful chemicals that can cause hallucinations, seizures, and even death.
3. Wearing Amulets
Ancient Egyptians believed wearing amulets, such as the Eye of Horus or the Scarab, could bring fertility and protect the unborn child. While these amulets may have some cultural significance, they have no scientific basis for improving fertility.
4. Drinking Mercury
Ancient Chinese texts suggest drinking mercury, a highly toxic substance, could help men overcome infertility. But, mercury exposure can cause severe neurological damage and even death.
5. Using Crocodile Dung
Some ancient cultures believed that inserting crocodile dung into the vagina could increase fertility. This practice is unproven and carries significant health risks, such as infection and toxic shock syndrome.
6. Taking Opium
In ancient Rome, opium was believed to be a potent fertility aid for both men and women. Opium is a highly addictive substance that can cause numerous health problems and even death.
7. Drinking Gold Water
Ancient Chinese texts recommend drinking water infused with gold powder as a fertility treatment. However, gold ingestion can cause severe side effects like liver damage and kidney failure.
8. Wearing Animal Parts
Some cultures believed wearing animal parts, such as a deer’s horns or a snake’s skin, could increase fertility. These practices have no scientific basis and can also expose people to zoonotic diseases.
9. Using Hemlock
Ancient Greeks used Hemlock, a poisonous plant, to regulate menstruation. But, hemlock ingestion can lead to paralysis, convulsions, and death.
10. Applying Lead
In ancient Rome, lead was believed to increase fertility, and women often applied lead-based cosmetics to their faces and bodies. Lead exposure can cause severe health problems, such as anemia, neurological damage, and even death.
Ancient fertility treatments were often based on superstitions and beliefs rather than scientific evidence. While some of these treatments may have cultural significance, many of them are dangerous and harmful to health.
Today, modern medicine offers safe and effective treatments for fertility problems, and it is essential to seek professional medical advice rather than rely on ancient remedies.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.