9 Bizarre Pieces of Medical Advice that Actually Work

1Masturbation

Masturbate. That's right, you heard me: whack off, polish the knob, or, (for the ladies) tickle the oyster. Studies have shown that a whopping 90% of disease is stress-related. And what's the number one (most fun) way to get rid of stress? Not only can it help you relax, studies have shown that there are many health benefits from masturbation, including cardiovascular and cervical health in women, and a possible reduced risk of prostrate cancer in men. So go ahead, rub one out - doctor's orders!

2Placebo Pills

Take a sugar pill. Otherwise known as a placebo, any fake type of medicine or drug can actually produce results, often on a par with, or better than, those of so-called "real" medicine. Even heroin users have been known to get off on nothing more than an injection of water. Bottom line: the mind is a powerful drug - all you've got to do is BELIEVE.

3Laughter

Laugh! That's right, a good, hearty chuckle can cure all sorts of ailments, from stress to depression. Even forced laughter has been shown to have benefits: participants in a Laughing Club in Shenzen, China have found themselves more outgoing and lighthearted after their daily group laugh. So get some perspective on yourself and your life by looking long and hard in the mirror and having a good guffaw (we're doing it behind your back anyway!)

4Maggots

Caution: may induce vomiting.

Put maggots in your wound. For serious burns or persistent wounds that just won't heal, doctors today recommend the use of blowfly larvae – that's right, those disgusting, slithery, wormlike creatures you never want to see in your burrito. Turns out these little suckers just LOVE to dissolve dead tissue and bacteria and can do so better than a surgeon. Nobody said medicine was pretty.

5Leeches

Let leeches suck on you. In Ye Olde Times, “doctors” would bleed people, often to death, with the mistaken belief that that could fix many ailments. Nowadays we know that a strategically placed leech or two can help with clotting and blood flow problems during surgical reattachment procedures. So the next time you lop off your finger, stick a nice juicy leech on top to help it heal back together.

6Breast Milk (for adults too!)

Drink human breast milk. Ahh, finally something that actually makes SENSE (and is nice to look at to boot!) Of course we know the importance of human breast milk for babies, but there is promising evidence that adults can benefit from it as well: Swedish researchers were able to kill a tumor cell with ingredients from human breast milk, and another man claims to have staved off cancer for four years. We're willing to give it our breast shot.

7Potatoes

Use a potato skin as a bandage. Have a nasty bruise or burn? A raw piece of potato placed directly on the wound has been shown to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Boil them up like mashed potatoes, put them in a sack and apply to sore muscles and joints - a potato retains heat for a long time. And potato juice can help with digestion. No wonder Irish eyes are always smiling!

8St. John's Wort

(It doesn't look like this.)

Take St. John's Wort or Sam-e. Feeling a little blue? Don't get hooked on scary pharmaceuticals with dangerous side effects. St. John's Wort is taken from the flower of the same name and has shown, in some studies, to be at least as effective as a prescription antidepressant, and much more easily tolerated. Same goes for Sam-e, which has been prescribed for depression for Europeans for many years, and we all know how HAPPY they are!!

9Apple

Eat an apple. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Turns out, that's not too far off! Eating an apple can lower cholesterol, improve digestion, relieve asthma and treat anemia. And, according to one study, sniffing a green apple can help with panic attacks associated with claustrophobia. (The pesticides ON the apple, however, are a different story… )

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