9.29.14: Alternative Medical Treatments & The Power Of Product Placement

Sep 29, 2014

From the Manual of Directions for Nurses in Army Hospitals, 1861
Credit elycefeliz via flickr Creative Commons

Think juice fasts are tough? Try blood-letting. On today's show, we’ll hear about some of the alternative medical treatments of the nineteenth century and how they laid the groundwork for modern medicine. Plus, we take a look at the funniest and most culturally resonant examples of product placement from the last ten years.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

Marketplace of the Marvelous

  • Not so long ago, ailing souls were treated with mercury and other poisons to induce sweating and vomiting. A good blood-letting was though to release the ill humors, and a mesmerist might quicken the magnetic flow of your brain. These pseudo-scientific quackeries proliferated in the 19th century and inspired throngs of followers.  Surprisingly, it was their struggles to fill in the gaps in knowledge that helped create the scientific enquiry essential to modern medicine and create the basis of what we now know as alternative medicine. Erika Janik covers the eccentric evolution in her book Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine.

Product Placement

That Crime of the Month

  • In this episode of the podcast “Criminal”, host Phoebe Judge takes a look back at the first use of the “PMS Defense”. This story is part of the PRX STEM Story Project, made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Listen to it at PRX.