Before selfies and social media, people were still obsessed with how they looked. And just like modern times, they went to great lengths to hold on to their good looks (and their hair). Here are some of the weirdest and craziest we could find.
Allegedly, people in Muslim countries have been making camels’ urine their number one choice for just about everything. It’s kind of like how your grandma would put blessed oil on you whenever you fell, had a nosebleed, or just needed a greasy cross on your forehead for good luck. According to Vice, camel pee has been part of Muslim tradition and has been used by the Bedouin people as a shampoo. Supposedly, the secret, camel potion can make your hair grow, make it soft, and make it shine. It has also been proven to make you very sick. Hundreds of people have become sick or died after drinking the camel concoction. In 2015, the World Health Organization said, “that’s nasty” and encouraged the public to avoid it like, well, the plague.
Teresa and Joe Graedon of “The People’s Pharmacy”, confirmed in a Seattle Times article, many people use milk of magnesia to treat acne and control seborrheic dermatitis. We can imagine that the smell and sight of milk of magnesia brings up horrible memories for many, so we’ll just take Teresa and Joe’s word for it.
Next time you’re watching Game of Thrones, notice how all of the eunuchs have all of their hair. Sure, their family jewels have been removed, but they are efficient servants, and they aren’t distracted by sex. A head full of hair and not distracted by sex? Something tells me you won’t be on Tinder much longer. Father Medicine, Hippocrates (Greek physician credited for being the first to believe diseases were caused naturally, not because of superstition and gods) noted castration saved the eunuchs in the Persian army from baldness, but never recommended it as a treatment. For those of you who think it sounds ridiculous, Duke University researchers confirmed in 1955 that castration had the potential to prevent hair loss.
Mice, Horse Teeth, and Bear Grease
Men have been concerned about their hairline for thousands of years. According to stories, Cleopatra tried to help Julius Caesar get his mane back by grinding up mice, horse teeth, and bear grease and smearing it on his head. There’s no proof she put a hot towel on his head followed by a durag to achieve a sophisticated wave look, but we’ll get back to you on that.
You know the weeds you pick when you’re tending to your lawn? Ancient people would chew on it to clean their teeth – although they may or may not have known it. In 2014, Nat Geo reported that scientists published findings of a study in PLOS ONE of a new analysis of skeletons revealing people who lived in Sudan 2,000 years ago were eating the purple nutsedge, one of the world’s worst weeds. The people had surprisingly great teeth, and scientists believe the antibacterial properties of the weed may be the reason why. When scientists took a closer look at the teeth, they found that fewer than one percent of them had cavities or other signs of tooth decay. Additionally, other researchers found that extracts of the weed prevent bacteria growth and that it’s not very appetizing. This means, these ancient folks either had bad taste in food, or they may have been using it as medicine. Ah, such simpler times.
Lamar Dawson is a pop culture junkie living in Manhattan. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook.