The Quick 10: 10 Remedies King Henry VIII Tried That You Probably Want to Avoid

Stacy Conradt

If you like this list, check out the book it came from—5 People Who Died During Sex by Karl Shaw. It's very flossy. You'd love it.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm going through a Tudor phase right now... OK, I have been for the past couple of years. Ever since I read The Other Boleyn Girl, I just can't get enough. However, after reading about Henry VIII's "remedies" for his numerous ailments, I think I may have finally reached my limit.

The Quick 10: 10 Remedies King Henry VIII Tried That You Probably Want to Avoid

1. Asthma: Swallow Young frogs or live spiders coated in butter. Protein, I guess, but I fail to see how it would help your breathing. I may suggest this to my asthmatic husband, though.
2. Gout: Boil a red-haired dog in oil, add worms and marrow from pig bones. Apply. My red-haired dog just arched his eyebrows at me.
3. Headache: Rub the forehead with a rope used to hang a criminal. Hey, I've had some headaches so bad that I would have tried anything to make it go away.
4. Rheumatism: Wear the skin of a donkey.
5. Jaundice: Drink a pint of ale containing nine drowned head lice every morning for a week. I'd be willing to try that, minus the lice.
6. Bubonic plague: Hold a live chicken against the sores until the bird dies. How, exactly, do you hold a live chicken still until it dies??
7. Whooping cough: Find a ferret, feed it with milk, then give the leftover milk to the sick child.
8. Warts: Lay half a mouse on the wart for half an hour and then bury it in the ground. As the mouse rots, the wart will vanish. The question, obviously, is which half?
9. Baldness: Rub dog or horse urine into the scalp. You know, this might be one of the saner baldness remedies I've heard of.
10. Deafness: Mix the gallstone of a hare and the grease of a fox, warm the result and place it in the ear. ...What is the "grease" of a fox?