"Above All, Do No Harm"
- Hippocrates

There's the familiar history of medicine, an ever-advancing march of sound science, learned doctors and lifesaving advances. But that's not how it happened… Focusing exclusively on established and accepted medical practices by history's most famous physicians, Strange Medicine presents an honor roll of celebrated doctors, scientists and dreamers that inadvertently turned the clock of medical history backwards

A Timeline of Medical History (The One You Didn't Learn In School)

The Ancients

Babylonia–lifting of pig's tail seen as medical omen

Egypt–Physician of the Belly applies electric eels

Greece–humpbacks thrown off tall buildings to correct posture

Rome–poisoning school chartered

The Middle Ages

Candles burned in patients' mouths, to kill invisible "toothworms"

Torture victims wrapped in skin of recently flayed horse

Doctors, by law, must carry detailed horoscopes in their medical bags

"Lovesick" patients lined with lead shields

The Renaissance

Lemmings fall from sky, as per leading Swedish thinkers

Pharmacies stocked with marinated human flesh, moss growing from skull and "human grains"

Carl Linnaeus (modern taxonomy) confirms that Bosum Serpents (snakes and toads) reside in the human belly

Paracelsus discovers nymphs, sylphs, water people and gnomes that dwell in mines where precious healing metals are found

Medicine's "Heroic Age"

Surgeons do amputations in 90 seconds or less, cutting off the limbs of their assistants

Dr. Harvey Kellogg, inventor of the cornflake, treats female masturbation with carbolic acid

For rabies, prestigious British medical journal The Lancet suggests massive doses of asparagus

Hemophiliacs encouraged to "bleed out"

A Little More Recent

Dr. Ugo Cerletti, Nobel Prize nominee, invents electroshock pig-brain therapy

Foot-O-Scope, to measure shoe-size, exposes customers to massive doses of x-rays

Dr. Henry Cotton hailed worldwide for uncovering root cause of mental illness-bad teeth

Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin in 1929, ignores own epic find for ten years

Foreign Rights

Strange Medicine Is Now In Print Worldwide!


Review—Publishers Weekly
…Belofsky conjures horror and hilarity-sometimes at the same time-in this cheeky history of 2,400 years of doctors doing "more harm than good" and occasionally fumbling their way toward "Eureka!"

Review—Booklist ("the acquisitions bible for public and school librarians nationwide")
"… offers a brief, unnerving and fascinating romp through medical history, from Babylonia to …the Roman Empire, medieval times, the Renaissance, and 19th century America…"

Review—Los Angeles Examiner:
"...via a series of vignettes, author Nathan Belofsky takes readers on a wild ride through history…The book is a treasure trove of amazing facts…"

Print and Radio

  • Huffington Post-Slide Show
  • Dennis Miller Show
  • SIRIUS/XM 114-Doctor Radio
  • Radio Health Journal (450 stations)
  • Mike Carruthers-Something You Should Know Radio (160 stations)
  • Free America Radio
  • National Talk Radio Network
  • Uncommon Awareness with Lorraine Hurley, MD
  • WMJI, "Lanigan & Malone"
  • WTFK, WJNC "Coastal Daybreak"
  • WJBC, "The Steve Fast Show"
  • KMA, "Dean & Don"
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  • KNN with Suzanne Duval
  • KQRS Morning Show
  • Foreign Rights to Strange Medicine Have Just Been Sold!

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