The 9th February marks National Toothache Day, modern medicine means we can cure this ill relatively easily meaning nights of hunting frogs beneath the moonlight and suffering from tongue ulcers from Mayan toothache cures are thankfully behind us, but in the day these remedies were as serious as a cavity.
We took a look at some of the strangest remedies over time:
1. Spitting in a frog's mouth
Roman writer, Pliny the Elder, wrote that one suffering from toothache should find a frog on a full moon and spit into its mouth. The sufferer would then chant “frog go and take my toothache with thee” before letting the frog go on its merry way.
2. Curdled milk
Pliny was a fan of some interesting medical methods, and also proposed that toothache could be cured by injecting the curdled milk from the stomach of an unweaned hare into the ear of the ailed.
3. Suck on a super hot chilli
For those in early Aztec civilisation, life with toothache was possibly better than the side effects from taking the ‘cure’. The cure was found by chewing an extremely hot chilli, which was expected to numb the pain. Fortunately, a new cure was later used, which included the chewing of the bark from the Sweet Gum tree, which had anaesthetic and antimicrobial properties.
4. Tie an old tooth round your neck
It took some time for dentistry to advance to where it’s at today. In Medieval England, sufferers of toothache were told to visit the cemetery and dig up a corpse and pull one of its teeth. The stolen tooth would then be worn as an amulet around the neck to ward off the pain.
Thanks to modern dentistry, the most painful thing about a toothache cure is waiting for an appointment.