Questionable Asthma "Cures"

July 16, 2015 1 min read

In the news this week, a woman is claiming to have cured her asthma through laughing exercises. She started taking laughter classes to treat her depression, but found they also greatly improved her respiratory health. She is now training to lead her own classes and thinks laughter therapy would be a good option for other asthmatics.

Research would be needed to conclusively prove or disprove her claims, but laughter as an asthma cure seems unlikely. However, this isn’t the strangest “cure” for asthma ever suggested. Here are 4 other questionable remedies from history--

  1. Ozone Paper

    Ozone Papers were a special type of paper that medicine men claimed would cure your asthma and/or bronchitis. Patients were instructed to simply roll up the papers like a cigarette and smoke them. We now know that smoking exacerbates asthma, so this cure had the exact opposite effect.

  2. Growing Taller

    In old time America, it was suggested that children with asthma be place against a tree and a nail driven in an inch above their head. If in a year’s time, the child was taller than the nail, his or her asthma would be gone.

  3. Horse Blood

    Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder wins the award for grossest asthma “cure.” He suggested drinking the blood of wild horses and eating snails. Please don’t try this at home.

  4. Purging and Bleeding

    In Ancient Greece, purging (vomiting) or bleeding were recommended as means to get whatever matter was causing the asthma out of your body. As you can imagine, these techniques did more harm than good.