7 Bizarre health practises from around the world

By Amber MalikNutritionist and Holistic Chef

7 Bizarre health practises from around the world


Christmas is over and people are thinking ahead to their New Years Resolutions. Are you one of the many who will make a goal based on health? If so, should the time ever come in the coming weeks or months when you begin to lose motivation, remember these unknown and funny health practices and perhaps a simple gym session won’t feel like such a challenge!


  1. Got a cough? Try placing half a potato on your pillow while you’re sleeping like the Colombians, and apparently your chest will clear up and you’ll sleep like a baby.
  2. A potato on your pillow is certainly easier to stomach than the 18th century English doctors’ remedy of dead snail syrup to cure coughs and ear problems. A snail would be slit open (preferably at dawn) and the ‘foamy slime’ would be mixed with sugar to make a liquid syrup. Yum.
  3. In Aruba, it’s believed that boiling gecko lizards and drinking the broth is a permanent cure for asthma.
  4. The ancient Egyptians would blend dead mice into a paste to heal all sorts of painful ailments, from toothache to a bad ankle. And the Elizabethan English weren’t averse to using mice as health remedies either. They would cut mice in half and apply them to warts, and also believed mouse paste could treat whooping cough, measles and bed-wetting.
  5. Are you or your Mrs pregnant? Be thankful the NHS doesn’t follow the Chinese tradition of a husband carrying his wife over a pan of burning coals to ensure she’ll have an easy and successful labour.
  6. 19th century English men were told to avoid eating lettuce if they wanted to have a family, as it was believed it could make them sterile. I’m not sure people need to be given an excuse to stop eating salad…And here’s a nice one:
  7. In Spain it’s still a tradition to eat 12 grapes when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve for a year of good luck and good health ahead. Now there’s a superstition we can get on board with!


Here’s to your health and happiness in 2017!

Amber Malik

Nutritionist and Holistic Chef

Amber is a qualified nutritionist and holistic wellness warrior. These days she likes to spend her time indulging her foodie passion and cooking people satisfying meals as part of The Amber Lime supper clubs. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.