How Were STDs Treated in Ancient Times?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have been around for centuries, and people have been trying to treat them just as long. However, the methods used in ancient times were quite different from what we use today. Let’s take a look at how STDs were treated in ancient times.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians had a unique approach to treating STDs. They believed that a mixture of honey and crocodile dung could cure the disease.

This mixture was applied to the infected area and left on for several days. While this method may seem strange, honey has been known for its antibacterial properties and crocodile dung was believed to have healing powers.

Ancient Greece

In Ancient Greece, STDs were believed to be a punishment from the gods for immoral behavior. Thus, the treatment involved purification rituals, where patients would bathe in holy water or make offerings to the gods in hopes of being cured.

Medieval Europe

During medieval times in Europe, STDs were treated with a variety of methods. One common method was bloodletting, which involved draining blood from the body in hopes of removing the “bad humors” causing the disease. Other treatments included applying herbal remedies, such as ointments made from herbs like sage and thyme.

19th Century

In the 19th century, mercury was commonly used to treat syphilis. This toxic heavy metal was believed to cure the disease by attacking and killing bacteria. However, mercury poisoning caused severe side effects such as kidney damage and neurological disorders.

Modern Times

Today, antibiotics are commonly used to treat STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. These drugs work by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria that cause these infections. Antiviral medications are also used to treat viral STDs such as herpes and HIV.


While the treatments for STDs in ancient times may seem strange and ineffective to us today, it’s important to remember that people did what they could with the knowledge they had at the time. We’ve come a long way in understanding these diseases and have much more effective treatments available to us now. However, it’s still important to practice safe sex and get tested regularly to prevent the spread of STDs.