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While surgery to remove cataracts in the eyes had been done as early as 500BC deteriorating sight was often treated at home with preventative measures. Investigate the bizarre treatments for eye conditions from a frog spawn water to the belief in the healing properties of amber.

Frog-spawn water

"Hang any quantity of frog-spawn in a bag, so that the water may run from it, into a vessel set underneath to receive it; and to every pint of the liquor, thus obtained, add a dram of roch-alum. " from the Pharmacopeia Edinburgensis, Wellcome Collection.

Fennel water

"Still [water] of finkell (fennel) alone and still [water] of Detonie alone which is special Good for the eyes. " from the Women's Recipe Book, National Library of Scotland.

Frog spawn. Photo by Maku Kuma on Unsplash

Amber bead

Amber was believed to hold healing properties for the eyes. This amber bead from the Isle of Skye was used as a charm in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was rubbed on the eyelids to cure failing eyesight.

Amber bead from Skye, used to cure failing sight by rubbing on the eyelids (H.NO 88).

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