The Lancet and the Leech

 

 

An amazing world of bizarre treatments - that work

 

 

6 x Half Hour

 

 

 

 

 

Sammy Ringer 2018


The Lancet and The Leech

Urinating on an open wound, following up surgery with leeches or using maggots to clean out infected wounds. These may sound like horrors of a bygone age but many doctors are rethinking these Odd, old treatments.

And for good reason – they work.

This series delves into a world of the most bizarre healing practices imaginable, pushing through the yuck factor to examine the science behind the old practices.

It’s not for the squeamish – these are not pretty injuries and illnesses - and they’re most certainly not pretty treatments - but you’ll be amazed at the healing power of these ‘primitive’ prescriptions.

The Series

Our presenter – Dr ***.

He begins the series as a skeptic. He’s read of the treatments but doesn’t believe they have a place in ‘modern’ medicine.

Though he’s a skeptic, he’s also a detective. He’ll travel to the ends of the earth and back in time to investigate these medical practices. Who used them and when? Is there proof they worked in historical times? Who’s using them now, where and why?

Most of all, he wants to know two things – do these practices work and, if so, why?

And here he won’t have to do any guessing. Sophisticated laboratory and clinical test will sort the muck from the treasure.

Whether it’s the magic mud of Istruga or a dog’s saliva, our Doctor can analyse the active constituents – and the results on the subjects who have undergone the unconventional treatment.

Which will leave him with on intriguing question – how could the primitive creators of these diabolical cures know what they were doing? 

 


The Constants

Each episode will contain an historical narrative, taking the viewer back in time to the rude and primitive conditions in which these treatments arose.

For every thread of skepticism, our doctor will find a modern practitioner who is using the treatment successfully.

Real people who have undergone the treatment will give their own stories.

And, finally, each treatment will be examined under the intensive microscope of modern science – in our testing lab, we’ll get down to molecular level to solve the mysteries of these ‘unscientific’ cures.

 

The Episodes

‘Things that suck and slither’ - leeches, maggots and flesh eating fish.

‘Mud, silver and gold’ – edible, medicinal dirt in France, colloidal silver and gold treatment in the US

‘Sweet  ‘ – Sugar for suppurating bedsores, honey for 1st degree burns.

Bee venom, electric fences and thistle

Urine, faeces and pus

Bloodletting and trepanning

Mud, silver and gold

Honey and sugar

Bee venom, electric fences and thistle

Urine, faeces and pus

Bloodletting and trepanning

 

Ep. 1 – Things that suck and slither

Leeches, maggots and flesh eating fish.

Have you ever wondered why the old English word for physician was ‘leech’? The answer’s pretty simple.

Our Doctor goes back to Egypt, 1500 BC to examine evidence of their use on Pharaohs and slaves, then moves forward to the Middle Ages in England where graphic medieval texts illustrate proper placement and describe the diseases to be treated.

Then on to Wales, where he visits Biopharm, one of the world’s largest medical leech ‘manufacturers’.

He follows a consignment of leeches to a hospital in New York, where they are used by surgeons to ensure the successful reattachment of a severed finger.

 

Ep 2 – Mud, silver and Gold

You’ve probably seen a small child happily eating garden dirt. Though the mother is probably horrified, the infant may

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The Constants

Each episode will contain an historical narrative, taking the viewer back in time to the rude and primitive conditions in which these treatments arose.

For every thread of skepticism, our doctor will find a modern practitioner who is using the treatment successfully.

Real people who have undergone the treatment will give their own stories.

And, finally, each treatment will be examined under the intensive microscope of modern science – in our testing lab, we’ll get down to molecular level to solve the mysteries of these ‘unscientific’ cures.

The Episodes

‘Things that suck and slither’ - leeches, maggots and flesh eating fish.

‘Mud, silver and gold’ – edible, medicinal dirt in France, colloidal silver and gold treatment in the US.

‘A spoonful of sugar’ - sugar for suppurating bedsores and wounds that won’t heal, honey for 1st degree burns and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

‘A sting in the tale’ – bee stings for arthritis and MS, thistle for crippling rheumatism and electric fences for chronic fatigue syndrome.

‘Mellow yellow’ – Urine for infected wounds and soft skin, ‘laudable’ pus for intractable injuries.

‘The Vampire and the Pharaoh’ - bloodletting for almost any ailment and trepanning (cutting a small hole in the head) for headaches and madness.