Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blowing Smoke Up There: Smoke Enemas

I'm sure you've said it before. I'm also sure you are guilty of doing it, too.

Have you ever wondered where the phrase "you're just blowing smoke up my ass" came from? During a recent adventure though the internet I've uncovered some images of medical devices used for smoke enemas. This apparently was a thing.

Who knew?

Appropriated from the native peoples of North America, this medical technique was used to treat a panoply of conditions such as drowning, gut pain, and hernias. My sources suggest that smoke and liquid tobacco enemas started a long slow decline in popularity beginning in the early 1800s. The treatment, however, persisted well into the early 20th century. 

Photos, of course.

traveling smoker kit for enemas on the go

the smoking enema in action

diagram of smoke enema kit

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