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World’s weirdest medical cures

Tired of getting no results from medications that claim to sooth a fever or cough, reduce the pain of a headache or backache, or help combat respiratory problems? Maybe some of the following alternative medicinal methods – albeit all a little on the wild side – may make a difference.

1. Sloppy solution for pesky pimples and that raking rheumatoid arthritis

Similar to the famous “Fountain of Youth” in sunny Florida – just take away most of the crystal clear water, promise of immortality and add a bit of mud – is the “Lagoon of Miracles” in Chilca, Peru. Natives swear to its ability to cure anything and everything from acne to rheumatism. In order to get the beneficial effects of the lagoon’s seemingly magical waters, one must immerse him or herself in thick, greenish-black mud. Yummy.

2. Dry sand and dry heat to fight sexual dry spells and joint pain

If you’re ever in Egypt and happen to experience that little nuisance known as impotency – maybe it was the jet lag, the fact that your mother-in-law accompanied on your honeymoon or some capricious camel on the ride from the rental car shop – try burying yourself in sand up to your neck. No, I’m not kidding. The people in the Siwa Oasis region of Egypt believe that being buried in the sand during the hottest time of the year (oops, forgot to mention that tidbit earlier) is a therapeutic treatment for sexual impotence and even joint pain. I guess that’s one way to get you hot.

3. Fish to help you breathe better

Affecting 8 to 10 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Allergy and Asthma Association of Southern California, asthma is obviously a big deal, and not surprisingly so are many other respiratory problems. In Hyderabad, India, the locals have solved this problem in one interesting way, and that’s forcing live fish down people’s throats. Wow. Sending a squirming fish into a person’s throat to cure asthma. Never would have guessed it. Seems so easy now….

4. Chinese cure for coughing

Some people in China have been known to eat live tree frogs to cure abdominal pain and chronic coughing. Makes you wonder why we only eat the legs over here in the States. Silly us.

5. Dolphins to make your child smarter

Making a second appearance on this list are the Peruvians. This time, instead of mud, it’s dolphins. Many people here believe that the high-frequency sounds a dolphin emits can be used to make unborn babies smarter by helping develop neuron abilities. So if you’re pregnant and in Lima, go check out a dolphin show and see if you can get backstage to have the dolphin stick its nose to your pregnant belly. You may just bear a baby Einstein.

6. Our winner – the healing powers of cow urine

Villagers in Cambodia frequently collect cow urine because of its “healing powers.” This belief in the supernatural healing powers of such animals as cows, snakes and turtles is very common for the country, and has been practiced for centuries. Pass the urine, please.

Most of these miraculous medical alternatives are relatively cheap. Why, again, are we considering a universal healthcare plan when solutions for many of our everyday healthcare needs are as close as the farm, your nearest Sea World adventure park and the desert of Death Valley?