What if somebody tells you that lifting your legs in the air for 20 minutes after having sex will help you get pregnant? Or putting hemp or corn in your vagina can induce labor… These beliefs might seem outrageous but actually existed in the ancient world. And much to your surprise, in many parts of the world people still believe that these bizarre beliefs can tell a lot about their fertility. Here we have listed some of the shocking beliefs about conceiving and fertility that might stump you…
A gynecological document, “the Kahun Medical Papyrus” which is currently archived at the University College in London, had shocking ways of checking a woman’s fertility. Ancient Egyptians used to hit the woman on a particular part of her lip, if it didn’t hurt, she was thought to be infertile. Another shocking way was the test that involved a heap of dirt. According to this belief, a woman was made to sit on a mound of dirt that’s been soaked in beer mixed with fruit and dates. If she vomits while sitting there, she was believed to have children in future. And if she complains about stomach ache, she was thought to be infertile.
Delores LaPratt, a researcher at McGill University mentioned that ancient Anglo-Saxon women had strange ways of assuring easy childbirths. This bizarre belief involved performing a ritual dance with one dead man and one alive. The pregnant woman was then made to first step over the grave of a dead man, reciting a charm in Anglo-Saxon “This is my remedy for hateful slow birth, this is my remedy for heavy difficult birth, this is my remedy for hateful imperfect birth.” After that, she was supposed to step over her husband who would lie down on the ground and recite “Up I go, step over you with a living child, not a dead one, with a full-born one, not a doomed one.”
This is a myth that still prevails in many parts of the world. There is no study that proves it but it is believed that swallowing your man’s semen can make you pregnant.
A similar myth prevailed in ancient world too that recommended consumption of goose semen to conceive. Ancient Greeks and Pliny The Elder believed this myth and said that if women didn’t want to drink goose semen mixed with water, they could also drink the liquid from the uterus of a weasel or a concoction of powdered sow’s dung. It was believed that by doing this guaranteed women’s fertility.
The ancient Egyptians and the Ebers Papyrus, suggested to put a few concoctions, including honey soaked with hemp, or a handful of ground corn up the vagina to induce labour.
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