I feel better when my mom is here with me. I feel better when I get more rest. I feel better when I eat more fruits and vegetables. But I do not think I would feel better if I had an actual frog in my throat. Some medieval folks, however, believed this strange practice would cure a sore throat! Oddly enough, there is some scientific support for the use of frog slime to ease pain and act as an antibiotic (now available in a convenient pill form instead of the live version).
I learned this and more interesting information from I Feel Better With a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures by Carlyn Beccia (also check out her 2009 title The Raucous Royals). The book's clever "Instructions for Use" warn readers to avoid eating lunch or operating heavy machinery while reading some of the gross and painful cures. The best instruction is to "proceed to your nearest library for more information" when "confusion or dizziness occurs." A multiple choice quiz format presents history's strangest cures for coughs, colds, sore throats, wounds, stomachaches, fevers, headaches, and "every sickness." One or more answers might be correct! The explanations that accompany each right or wrong answer are often humorous and always on the verge of unbelievable. Attention is also given to the Eye of Horus, wormy cures, bloody cures, the use of leeches (ugh! I hate leeches), holes in the head, and a letter from Ulysses S. Grant.
Her digital mixed media illustrations add the perfect amount of humor and expression to the text. She offers more information about the origins of cures and medicine in a wonderfully detailed bibliography.
I am grateful to those caregivers in my life who have treated me with less dramatic cures, especially my mom.