AS LONG AS there’s been illness, there have been medical hucksters—the people trying to make a buck peddling “cures” for every conceivable ailment, real or imagined.

Whether the warnings were for paralysis, “nervous troubles,” or “tired blood,” unscrupulous pitchmen have taken advantage of fear to sell elixirs, instruments, and other home remedies to treat what ails you.

As you’ll see, these “cures” were often harmless, but in some cases they could’ve left you with far worse problems than what you had in the first place (and their use often meant that problems were left untreated by more effective means). In the 20th century, laws were passed and government agencies created to curb the sale of fraudulent medical treatments, but dubious health products continue to be sold to the gullible and desperate today.

Here are the weirdest and most fraudulent health and fitness products of all time.


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