For centuries people are searching for remedies that prolong their life or make them healthier. Sometimes a remedy becomes a trend without knowing exactly how it works or what it does. Sometimes doctors even believe that such a remedies has beneficial effects until the contrary is proved. History teaches us that some of these remedies can be profound. We discuss 11 examples of “miracle cures” that have been ultimately proved as unhealthy.

1.Radioactive drinks

Radioactive drinks

At the beginning of the 20th century, people thought that radioactivity was healthy. They wore necklaces include radium rheumatism, sleeping under sheets with uranium against arthritis and carried radioactive makeup making your skin should not be older. Also, radioactive water was drunk.

2.Shark cartilage

Shark cartilage

The shark cartilage is sold as a supplement that could cure cancer. In the fifties, the surgeon John Prudden stated that the use of animal cartilage make tumors shrink. In 1992 the book “Sharks do not get cancer,”  made scientists thought for more than 150 years that sharks be able to get cancer.



At the beginning of the 20th century, people infected with tapeworms made people think they lose weight. The idea was that the parasite would eat the food that people ate, but there was no thought about the diseases that the animal can bring.

4.Snake Oil

Snake Oil

Chinese migrant workers in the United States helped to build the railroads brought from their homeland with snake oil from Chinese water snakes. The oil worked inflammatory, but local crooks soon started to sell Rattlesnakes oil, but Rattlesnakes oil did not had the same properties as the Chinese oil.



In the 19th century people thought that lobotomy was a solution for mental disorders. Thousands of patients, including about 2,000 WWII Veterans, were anesthetized with an electric shock, and an ice pick which was inserted into the brains, above the eye.



Until the 19th century losses were a panacea. Doctors flood blood from the body of patient flows to heal diseases and ailments. The procedure originated in ancient Egypt and then spread to the Roman Empire. Initially doctors thought that evil spirits caused diseases and that blood from the Body would provoke them.

7.Mercury against syphilis

Mercury against syphilis

In the 16th century mercury was used as a remedy for syphilis. First it was smeared on the infected body part but that only made everything worse. After that mercury is evaporated and inhaled.

8.Vitamin Water

Vitamin Water

In 2009 Coca-Cola was sued because Vitamin Water was put on the market as a healthy product . The 33 grams of sugar in the vitamin water was according to the U.S. Center for Science in the Public Interest harmful to the health. It could also lead to diabetes and obesity.



In the 15th century, Native Americans smoked tobacco to cure headaches and colds and to prevent diseases and fatigue. When the plant was introduced in Europe people thought that tobacco was a panacea. In India they even thought that tobacco was good for your teeth which leaded to tooth paste with tobacco.

10.Cough syrup with heroin

Cough syrup with heroin

In 1898, Bayer pharmaceutical company came up with a cough syrup with heroin. Even stranger was that it was specifically aimed at children. In 1914 heroin was only availible on prescription.  In 1924 heroin use was prohibited.



Cocaine was used as a medicine and added to the first Coca-Cola. Even Sigmund Freud took cocaine regularly. “I regularly take small amount of cocaine for depression and digestive problems and leads to a fantastic success as a result,” he once wrote to his wife.