Surely you’ve stumbled across some strange-sounding health trend – “Don’t eat white bread for 84 hours and you’ll drop 5 pounds,” or “Rub seaweed on your hair eight times a day and your hair will look shinier!” Granted, those are made up, but you get the idea; health trends are everywhere. Here’s a list of a few of the most unique health fads, old and new, from around the world.
This little South Korean beauty is supposed to promote blood circulation and smooth neck muscles to slim your face and neck. (Apparently those pokey things are face slimmers, not a device intended for torture.)
2. Fat-Blasting Soaps
In the 1930s United States, there was a rumor that you could simply wash away fat with a certain kind of soap. La-Mar’s Reducing soap was one such product. Apparently, all you had to do was replace your regular soap with this “specialized formula” and the fat would just melt away. If you don’t believe that it would work, you’d be right.
You didn’t misread that. Apparently, an ancient Korean tradition involves drinking rice wine with baby mice in it. This particular type of wine was originally concocted to heal people who couldn’t afford a doctor. In a sense, it was a “cure-all” for any ailment ranging from asthma to liver failure. The (living) baby mice are put into the wine, left to drown and ferment, and served. Many people in Korea swear by it – I think I’ll stick with Tylenol and cough syrup.
4. Bone Broth
Take bones from any meat and boil them until they break down to make a broth – viola! Bone broth. This is quickly gaining momentum as a worldwide trend and is thought to have health benefits due to the nutrients released from the bones including collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine.
5. Charcoal Pills
People have started taking capsulized charcoal in an effort to detox. These pills are intended to absorb all of the undesirable things you ingest, like excessive alcohol after a night on the town. A WebMD post is available about the true health qualities and side effects of charcoal. Disclaimer: constipation is common, as is *cough* waste that resembles, well…charcoal.
6. Backward Running
In places like London, Manchester and Japan, people are lining up and sprinting…backward. There’s an entire website dedicated to the movement, and organized races are popping up all over the UK. Not only is it fun, but there are quite a few health benefits. For those of us who can’t even walk without tripping, start your backward running regimen somewhere deserted and squishy, like grass or a track.
In China, chefs mix chicken broth with Swiftlet’s spit. Yes – bird spit. These birds make their nests out of their spit, and when they vacate the nest, people harvest them and put them in soup. It’s said to be high in proteins and amino acids which can benefit epidermal growth factors, meaning hair skin and nail growth, essentially.
8. Turtle Jelly
If you’re perusing the aisles at your local grocery store, you probably won’t see “Turtle Jelly” next to the grape. Turtle jelly is another health food intended to lower cholesterol in Hong Kong and is actually having an adverse effect on the turtle population. Turtles are boiled for hours, mixed with herbs and lotions, and served in a gelatinous soup form. In a study, they put the cholesterol assumption to the test and found that it does, in fact, reduce cholesterol and retention of fat. As tempting as that is, I think I’ll keep my peanut butter turtle-jelly-free.