The mysterious ‘Zep’ love potion

A rag, worn close to the heart, and steeped in a mystic substance imbued with the wisdom of the East. A flame, charring the edges...

Review: Medikidz Explain Epilepsy

Knowledge is power, but if you’re a child recently diagnosed with a medical condition – or are watching a loved one go through bewildering tests...

‘Eat! Eat! Eat!’ Those notorious tapeworm diet pills

Peoria, Illinois, 1912: the horror begins. A society lady, encouraged by a friend’s success with an easy new weight-loss treatment, pays $25 for ‘two rather...

On thorny ground: the human x-ray scientists

Imagine being able to see through a steel door, or to force the germination of poppy seeds and at once destroy them with the power...
Welcome to our virtual collection of health advertising, fraudulent schemes and medical oddities of the past.

Zep: a love potion

In 1930s Yorkshire, a clairvoyant used a magical substance called Zep to help women find husbands.

Fat or fiction?

The tapeworm diet is credited with a long history, but did our great-grandmothers really use parasites for weight loss?

Explosive party tricks

Victorian Christmas party hosts found some ingenious - and potentially dangerous - ways of entertaining their guests.

Human X-Rays

In 1911, the Grant brothers of Maidstone claimed to be 'human x-rays', able to cure disease and even bring people back to life by the power of their minds.

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