A 46-year-old man from North Carolina claimed for years he did not touch alcohol, but no one believed him. He was prone to falls, displayed brain fog and aggressive behaviour and was even arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol. 

His family, police and doctors believed that he was just a closet drinker. Only years later researchers at the Richmond University Medical Center in New York discovered that the man was telling the truth. He was not hiding his alcohol addiction, instead there was yeast in his gut that was converting carbohydrate to alcohol. In other words, his stomach was brewing beer.

First I thought this was some kind of Onion story, but then I saw that Wikipedia has an article on the condition, which means that it is absolutely 100% true:

Auto-brewery syndrome is a rare medical condition in which intoxicating quantities of ethanol are produced through endogenous fermentation within the digestive system. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a type of yeast, has been identified as a pathogen for this condition. Recent research has also shown that Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria can similarly ferment carbohydrates to alcohol in the gut which can accelerate Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

“These patients have the exact same implications of alcoholism: the smell, the breath, drowsiness, gait changes. They will present as someone who’s intoxicated by alcohol, but the only difference here is that these patients can be treated by antifungal medications.” said Fahad Malik, the chief internal medicine resident at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Sounds amazing! Where can I get me one of these?

This is not a joke, although it does sound like the plot of a silly romantic comedy. A woman from the city Xiamen recently woke up to find that she couldn’t hear any male voices, including that of her boyfriend, while still being able to hear female voices.

The woman, identified only as Chen, had ringing in her ears as well as nausea the night before. But things only got worse the following morning when she couldn’t hear her boyfriend’s voice. She was then rushed to a local hospital and it was found that she could hear the voice of her female specialist, Dr. Lin Xiaoqing, but still couldn’t hear other male voices. “She was able to hear me when I spoke to her, but when a young male patient walked in, she couldn’t hear him at all,” the doctor said.

The doctor soon diagnosed Chen with reverse-slope hearing loss, an extremely rare condition in which patients become unable to hear low-frequency sounds (like those of deeper male voices) while retaining the ability to hear higher-frequency sounds (like those of female voices). While high-frequency hearing loss is much more common in humans, with one in approximately 12,000-13,000 hearing loss sufferers the opposite happens.

1.Dead Mice

The Egyptians applied dead mice paste in their mouth to ease toothache. It is a shame there is no recipe left because, aside from ridding you from toothache, it also sounds delicious. If you had a wart in Elizabethan England, you would cut a mouse in half and apply it to the spot.

2.Sheep liver diagnosis

Just as many contemporary geniuses, the ancient Mesopotamians have very early realized that scientific analysis and diagnosis are nonsense and diagnosed patients not by examining them, but by examining the liver of a sacrificed sheep. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

3.Cutting off the tounge

No, it was not used for curing unruly children who talked back to their parents, but to cure stuttering. Unfortunately, it did not work as well as sheep liver diagnosis and patients continued to stutter while some bled to death.

4.Pulling out the giant tooth worm living inside of you

The benefits of this treatment are pretty obvious.

5.Crocodile dung contraception

Again the ancient Egyptians with their creative solutions for everyday problems. They would insert dry crocodile dung into vaginas, thinking that it will soften when it reaches body temperature and create an impenetrable barrier. I guess pulling out was not an option.

6.Goat testicles

In the early 1900s, John Brinkley became one of the richest doctors in America, despite having no medical qualifications. He claimed he could cure impotence, infertility, and other sexual problems by surgically implanting goat testicles into a man’s scrotum. The surgery had no scientific merit and was extremely dangerous. Many patients died. I wonder if he replace them with goat testicles or did he just add more of them to the scrotum? Could you then have three testicles? I want to have seven. 

7.Farts in a jar

This historical medical treatment is my absolute favorite on th list. I always claimed that farts can heal the body and the soul. Doctors in the middle ages agreed with me and believed that bad smells have therapeutic effects. Some urged people to keep goats in the home. Others recommended flatulence stored in jars. Each time the deadly pestilence appeared in the neighborhood, people were to open the jars and take a whiff. 

8.The doctor telling you that extremely large testicles are not good for you while wearing a pot on his head

What else can he do?

The Irish Medical Journal recounted a case of a 33-year-old man who repeatedly injected himself with his own semen in order to cure his back pain. After a few doses of semen injected in his forearm the pain miraculously disappeared!

Nah, just joking. He had to be hospitalized. “This is the first reported case of semen injection for use as a medical treatment,” doctors in Dublin wrote in the case study, titled “‘Semenly’ Harmless Back Pain: An Unusual Presentation of a Subcutaneous Abscess.”

The problem was noticed when he showed up at a doctor’s office complaining of severe back pain. The physician noticed the man’s right arm appeared swollen and inflamed. “The patient disclosed that he had intravenously injected his own semen as an innovative method to treat back pain,” doctors wrote in the study. “He had devised this ‘cure’ independent of any medical advice.”

After a short treatment, our medical genius left the hospital pain- and swollen-arm-free. The report concludes with a warning that medical experimentation is dangerous and it’s risky for untrained individuals to inject themselves with substances not intended for intravenous use. This means that you should definitely not inject yourself with bodily discharge of any kind, including semen, urine, feces, ear wax and the tears of your enemies.

A mainstream method of rescucitating the “apparently dead”, especially drowning victims, in the 18th century was to literally blow smoke up their ass. Whereas today we use defibrilators and blowing non-poisonous gases like air into people’s lungs, doctors in the 18th and 19th century had different ideas about how to help the dead be less dead.

The procedure was originally carried out using a tobacco smoke enema device which consisted of a pig’s bladder, a tobacco pipe, and a nozzle.  Those who did not have access to this medical device would resort to using a basic smoking pipe loaded with tobacco, meaning that their noses would be extremely close to a dead rectum. That must have been fun!

Drawing of an early tobacco smoke enema device, 1773. Author: Alexander Johnson

Tobacco smoke enemas were mostly used to resuscitate drowning victims, which led to tobacco smoke resuscitation devices being located at various points along rivers and coasts.  Tobacco smoke was forced into the rectum of the victim through a tube which was connected to a fumigator and a set of bellows. It would be forced into the patient’s rectum when the bellows were compressed. The reasoning behind this was that the smoke was supposed to warm the victim and dry out the person’s insides, removing excessive moisture. This totally makes sense. Just imagine how many more lives Mitch Buchannon could have saved if he had this ingenious device.