Abstract Among the problems facing the medical practitioner in a developing country, one of the most disheartening perhaps is the mutilation and even death caused by therapy practised by the local people. These misguided treatments are meant to cure, but are born out of ignorance. This is no more apparent than in the case of burning the feet as a means of treating fits. In native medicine, a convulsion is regarded as a disease rather than a symptom. The feet may be burned either by flame or hot water, or burying them in hot ashes. The following cases are typical.