10 Bizarre And Possibly Taboo Chinese Health Remedies

In this strange and bewildering world, we might each have come across our own fair share of cultural practices or therapies that may shock, disgust, scare or possibly make you the curious adventurer who wants to try it.

Among those numerous strange therapies, some recently accepted and practiced alternative cures include herbal remedies from different parts of the world, topical medicinal tape first used by athletes in the Beijing Olympics, cupping or even electric current acupuncture from China. But here are a few weird therapies which have been proven to be well, widely ineffective but still practiced in some parts of China.


Trio Elemental Healing

Fire Therapy

A Chinese medicinal massage using fire, called Gua sha, meaning scraping sha-bruises, which includes cupping and more, was practiced and claimed to help facilitate smooth blood circulation in a person’s body. The said practitioners were however issued a warning notice by Chinese authorities in 2005.


Sand Therapy

An innovative healing concept called ‘Western Yusha (sand) therapy’ was introduced in the city of Nanjing in 2013. The aim behind this concept was to bury a person’s body under sand till they start to sweat. It is inspired by and uses the fusion concepts of massaging, acupressure, ‘magnetic therapy’, ‘hyperthermia’ and ‘light therapy’. In acupressure, walking on sand is said to stimulate various points on your feet, so maybe they’re onto something. Even kids love burying each other in the sand on the beach so why not go to the nearest one and try it for free?

Holy Water Therapy

This claimed to be ‘holy water’ from a creek located in the province of Zhejiang, was believed by the nearby residents to cure various illnesses ailments. But medical tests later showed that it possessed no such powers.


Going Green For An Inner Clean

The Green Bean Diet Therapy

A ‘miracle doctor’ named Zhang Wu sold a book in 2010, on how a diet of green beans could cure various diseases. Ironically, four years after, he was diagnosed with cerebral infarction, for which he solemnly admitted that the green beat diet was not working and hence stopped taking this treatment.

Painting With Plant Juice Therapy

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, they had a mascot named Fuwa. An artist painted a cartoon version of this mascot using natural essences of grass and flowers onto the backs of two ladies, who later claimed that the juices of those plants had rejuvenating effects.


Bug Me For Some Therapy

Eating Ants Remedy

A hotel in the city of Hangzhou held an event where people could come and try eating live ants. They also had the courtesy of inviting ‘experts’ from ant farms who also showed the public how to eat the ants, which they said are rich in protein and had anti-aging effects. Although, bugs have been suggested as the new protein source in some futuristic alternative dietary circles, who knows?

Apitherapy Or Bee Venom Therapy

A Chinese medicinal folk remedy that uses bee venom said it could cure migraines, stomach aches, rheumatism, reduce high blood cholesterol, arthritis, and more, though it has not been proven and has been told by experts to cause allergies that could be lethal.


“Here’s Your Cure”, With Love, Your Body

Urine Therapy

In 2004, close to 30 old folks in the city of Guangzhou came together to drink not wine but urine together, each toasting a fresh glass of it one after another. They claimed that drinking one’s own urine gives the body a chance to reabsorb nutrients that have been wasted out and cure ailments such as hyperthyroidism. After which, the China Urine Therapy Association was been formed in 2008 which is now said to have close to 100,000 members, although medical specialists have said that it causes more harm than good. But people who have say they have been on urine therapy for over a decade, totally abide by it. Urine therapy was also followed in some rural states of India and has been passed down in some old scripts as a supposed natural health remedy.

The ‘Stretch And Beat Therapy

A Chinese author named Xiao Hong-ci, wrote a book about the concept of stretching the muscles and slapping the body claiming that it cures tons of ailments. After this, the ‘stretch and beat therapy’, has grown in popularity in different cities of China including, Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou and has even been used a lady in Thailand who runs a business to make woman’s breasts bigger by using this method. She supposedly slaps the belly fat and then pushes it upwards to the chest area, which is said to move the fat to the breasts hence making them bigger.


For A Shocking Relief

Electric Therapy

A man colloquially called the ‘fairy priest’, named Li Yi, has practiced and become a pro in the art of healing people with ‘220-volt electricity’. By which he is said to use this voltage of electric current to heal cancer patients, enable paraplegic patients to be able to consciously move those immobile parts of their body again after undergoing his treatment, although tons of medical experts and scientists have heavily questioned the safety and authenticity of his form of treatment.

A few other strange treatments out there also include eating your own placenta to prevent postpartum depression, which was even supposedly done by Kim Kardashian herself, kangaroo testicle pills available in New Zealand gift shops too, supposedly helping with male infertility and impotency, etc.

With heaps of such remedies and foods around our strange planet, also shown to us by The Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, do share what bizarre form of treatments you have come across or know of too!