Some of us will carefully check the labels on most of the products we use, scrutinizing them to see if we can find some suspicious ingredients listed. The rest of us do not care and just use these products anyway. But how would you feel if you discovered that your food or body lotion contained human body parts?
Here are some products made from human body parts you didn’t know about:
A few centuries ago, many Europeans turned into unwitting cannibals after consuming medicines made with the bones, blood, and fats of living and dead people. People of the day believed that these medicines cured a wide range of ailments.
Skulls were ground into powder to make medicine for almost every problem with the head. Usnea, a moss that often appeared on buried human skulls, was used to stop nosebleeds and cure epilepsy.
Body fat was applied to the skin to cure medical problems like gout. Bandages were also soaked in fat before they were used to cover wounds. The act of using human body parts as medicine reached its height between the 16th and 17th centuries and started to die down in the 18th century. It had disappeared by the 20th century.
Within the last few years, several businesses have sprung up, offering to turn the cremated remains of our dead relatives and animals into diamonds—or as they prefer to call them, “memorial diamonds.”
The process works because diamond is made of carbon, which is the second-most plentiful element in our bodies.
The process begins with the cremation. The human body produces several pounds of ashes after cremation. However, this is often filled with impurities, which are removed when the ash is cleaned with acid.
Scientists at Pennsylvania State University are already working on converting poop and urine to food. This diet is not intended for regular people but for astronauts, especially those who will travel on long-term space voyages to, say, Mars.
The scientists made the food by anaerobic digestion, a process in which microbes break down waste without using oxygen. In this instance, a first group of microbes is added to poop and urine to produce methane. That methane is then fed to a second group of microbes.
The result is a consumable substance that contains 52 percent protein and 36 percent fats. The diet is free of diseases because the microbes work so quickly that dangerous pathogens do not have time to form.
Some Chinese people believe that eggs boiled in the urine of young boys have medicinal properties. The eggs are called tong zi dan (“virgin boy eggs”). They are a thing in Dongyang in Zhejiang Province, China, where they are sold on the roadside. Consumers claim that the eggs cure or prevent a myriad of ailments.