Gombault’s Caustic Balsam

Gombaults

Gombaults

Gombault’s Caustic Balsam was originally used as a veterinary medicine for various horse aliments such as thrush, diphtheria, skin disease, pink eye, blemishes and splints. The popularity of this product soon led to claims that it was just as effective for humans to remedy rheumatism, sprains, and sore throats.

J.E. Gombault, an ex-veterinary surgeon to the French Government, developed the formula for this balsam in France. While the formula is still not known, the resemblance of this product to a remedy in the 1911 Physicians Formulary provides a basis to infer the contents.  These ingredients are cottonseed oil, croton oil, oil of camphor, oil of turpentine, kerosene, and sulphuric acid.  Mixtures of camphor and cottonseed oil have been used as a counterirritant, similar to the claimed effect of Gombault’s Balsam; however, croton oil is a skin irritant, and it’s inclusion in the formula is counterintuitive.

The Lawrence-Williams Company was started in 1881 by Mortimer J. Lawrence, originally from France.  The company was immediately successful due to sales of Gombault’s Caustic Balsam, which led to the future growth of the company in America.

Credits:

Taylor Upton

Novemebr 2011

Kurokol

Kurokol

Kurokol

Kurokol was a cough syrup that contained alcohol, chloroform, and cannabis, which could have referred to either Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica. The use of the cannabis plant can be traced as least as far back as ca. 1500 B.C.; in the Ebers Papyrus hemp made from the plant was applied to inflamed areas of the body to cure ingrown toe-nails and other aliments. By the late 1880’s, cannabis was used frequently in cough syrups and related medicines and this continued to be the case until the 1930’s. Cannabis was valued as a pain killer and sedative that was also capable of drying up, expanding and unclogging the throat and air passages, without causing the constipation or depressed respiration associated with morphine.

Bibliography

“Cough Syrups, Chapter 8.” THE ANTIQUE CANNABIS BOOK – 2nd EDITION. Accessed 12 Nov., 2008 from: http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap8/CoughSyrup.htm.

“Kurokol.” Cough Syrups. Antique Cannabis Book. Accessed 13 Nov., 2008 from: http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap8/Kurokol.htm.

“Generic Cannabis Ad’s III:.” Magazine, Newspaper Advertisements for Medical Cannabis. Indianapolis Star, 12 Oct 1924.  Accessed 13 Nov., 2008 from: http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap12/Generic2.htm

“Problems with Generic Ads: Cannabis Advertisments.” Magazine, Newspaper Advertisements for Medical Cannabis. Accessed 13 Nov., 2008 from: http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap12/Advertise.htm. 

Tryniski, Tom. “The Auburn Citizen.” 27 Oct 1927. Accessed 12 Nov., 2008 from: http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%202/Auburn%20NY%20Citizen/Auburn%20NY%20Citizen%201927.pdf/Newspaper%20Auburn%20NY%20Citizen%201927%20-%200230.PDF.

Credits:

Annie Elias

November 13, 2008

Olibanum

Olibanum

Olibanum

Olibanum, better known as frankincense in the west, is actually a resin produced from the abraded bark from over five hundred different species of trees in the family Burseraceae, each producing slightly different “gum resins” called tears. The resins are allowed to collect for three months before they are harvested, and tears from younger trees have higher potency. Endemic to the middle latitudes of Africa, the Middle East, India, and the Americas, these resin-producing trees grow in harsh and rocky zones.

The millennia-spanning history of olibanum includes many references in ancient texts and continues to the present.  In ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder claimed olibanum was an antidote to hemlock.  In ancient Egypt, it was an ingredient in Kohl, the distinctive black eyeliner. Of olibanum’s uses, the best known is undoubtedly its inclusion in incense. Safe to eat and with no observed negative effects, tears from these hardy trees are still used in ceremonies and are a popular food in many parts of the world.

Bibliography

DerMarderosian, Ara, and John A. Beutler, eds. “FRANKINCENSE, INDIAN.” The Review Of Natural Products,  STAT!Ref Online Electronic Medical Library. TextSelect. USA. 12 Nov. 2008. Accessed 27 Oct., 2008.

“Frankincense.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 13 Nov., 2008 From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index.phptitle%3DFrankincense%26oldid%3D248867557.

Grieve, M. “Frankincense.” Botanical.com. 1995. Accessed 12 Nov., 2008 from: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/franki31.html.

Mulot, Otto L. Medicinal Composition. Patent 496-694. 1892.

Rimmerman, Arieh, Neta Moussaieff, Tatiana Bregman, Alex Straiker, Christian C. Felder, Shai Shoham, Yoel Kashman, Susan M. Huang, Hyosang Lee, Esther Shohami, Ken Mackie, Michael J. Caterina, Michael J. Walker, Ester Fride, and Raphael Aphael Mechoulam. “Incense is psychoactive: Scientists identify the biology behind the ceremony.” The FASEB Journal (2008), 22(8), 3024-3034.

“Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis.” The Washington Post, Weds., July 30, 2008. Accessed 12 Nov., 2008 from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/30/AR2008073001481.html

Credits:

Ashley Latimer

November, 2008

Peruna Elixir

Peruna Elixer

Peruna Elixer

Peruna Elixir was invented in 1877 by Dr. Samuel Hartman, a well-respected traveling physician from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to cure “catarrh”, or inflammation of the mucus membranes. Hartman was also a great businessman. Through aggressive advertising claiming that catarrh was the root of nearly all diseases, he created a large market for his concoction.   Production was moved to Columbus, Ohio and at the turn of the century, Peruna Elixir was the bestselling drug, with sales of $120,000 a day.  The popularity of the drug was no doubt helped by the fact that it contained 28% alcohol.  With the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, which required manufacturers to disclose the amount of alcohol in their drugs, sales of Peruna Elixer declined. The government also banned Hartman from selling Peruna Elixir on Native American reservations because of its addictive qualities.  In a fatal mistake for his business, Harman secretly changed the formula, making it less boozy and adding a laxative. Sales plummeted, and by 1912 Peruna Elixir was no longer sold.

Bibliography

Cramp, Arthur Joseph. Nostrums and Quackery and Pseudo-medicine. V.1-3. Vol.1. Chicago, IL:  Press of American Medical Association, 1911. Pgs. 690-693.

Hunter, Bob. A Historical Guidebook to Old Columbus: Finding the past in the Present in Ohio’s Capital City. Athens: Ohio University, 2012. Pgs 197-199.

Lovelace, Craig. “Shaping Columbus: Samuel Hartman, Owner of Peruna Drug Manufacturing Co.” Bizjournals. Business First, 27 Apr.2012. Accessed  7 Nov., 2012 from:  http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/print-edition/2012/04/27/shaping-columbus-samuel-hartman.html?page=all

Paschen, Robert. “Columbus 200: (White) Lightning in a Bottle.” Columbus 200: (White) Lightning in a Bottle. 614Magazine, 1 Mar. 2012. Accessed 15 Nov., 2012 from:   http://614columbus.com/article/columbus-200-white-lightning-in-a-bottle-4614.

Peruna Held an Alcoholic Beverage. The Virginia Law Register. Virginia law review. 09/1910 Coverage: 1895-1928 (Vol.1- New Series Vol.13)   http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/1101735?origin=api&

PERUNA PROTECTS THE FAMILY: Coughs and Colds Grip and Catarrh. Southern Cultivator (1843-1906); Jan 1, 1901; 59,1; American Periodicals. Pg.6

 

Credits:

Tero Vilkki

December, 2012

Mucu-Tone

Much-Tone

Mucu-Tone

Mucu-Tone was a multi-purpose “alterative tonic” which was manufactured for a brief period in the early 1900’s. Two of its active ingredients are Cascara sagrada and Nux vomica. Nux vomica is the poisonous seed of the Strychnos nux-vomica tree and contains ca. 4% by weight of the poisonous alkaloid strychnine.  Cascara sagrada is the bark of the bearberry tree (Rhamnus purshiana).  Known as a laxative by native Americans, cascara sagrada was widely used in over-the-counter medicines until banned by the FDA due to its toxicity and potential carcinogenicity.

The Rexall company was started in Boston in 1904 by Louis K. Liggett, who also founded the United Drug Company.  The “Rexall” name was derived from the words “Rx to all,”  an allusion to the company’s goal of providing low-priced, high-quality prescription medications. The Rexall name was franchised to individual owners, and soon the company lost profits to more competitive retail pharmacy chains. The Rexall company survives today as Rexall Sundown, Inc., which markets vitamins and healthy living products.

Bibliography:

Cascara. (2008). In A. DerMarderosian & J. A. Beutler (Eds.), The review of natural products.  Accessed Nov. 12, 2008.

Nux Vomica. (2008). In A. DerMarderosian & J. A. Beutler (Eds.), The review of natural products.  Accessed Nov. 12, 2008.

Rexall- Our History. 2008. Katz Group. Accessed 11 Nov. 2008 from: http://www.rexall.ca/about_us/our_history.aspx.

“Rexall.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 13 Oct 2008, 01:13 UTC. accessed 12 Nov 2008 from :http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rexall&oldid=244890195.

Smith, M. C. (2004). The Rexall story: A history of genius and neglect. New York, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press.

Credits:

Nick Feidberg
November, 2008

 

Kickapoo Saga

Kickapoo Sagwa

Kickapoo Sagwa

In the late 1800’s,  John E. Healy and Charles F. Bigelow founded a small business that sold various medicines and called it the “Kickapoo Indian Company.”  Although they had no affiliation with the Kickapoo Indian tribe, Bigelow claimed that an Indian chief who happened to have this “Sagwa” medicine saved his life when he had fallen ill in the wilderness.
The company sold many medicines and cosmetic products, but their most famous product was the Sagwa Laxative. The formula for this laxative probably changed over time, but in the early 1900’s it apparently consisted of over a dozen ingredients including:  yellow dock, licorice, and roots of gentian, mandrake, and rhubarb.  Sagwa and other products such as Kickapoo Indian Oil, Kickapoo Buffalo Salve, Kickapoo Indian Cough Cure, and Kickapoo Indian Worm Killer were sold at “Indian medicine shows” put on around the country by the Kickapoo Indian Company.  This company was not the first to capitalize on the prevailing view of native Americans as natural physicians endowed with secret healing powers.  But with aggressive advertising and extravagant productions, the Kickapoo Indian Company’s shows became some of the best-known and most widely attended, from the large cities of the East coast to tiny towns in the midwest.  These shows featured native Americans, none of whom were in fact from the Kickpoo tribe, who entertained and enticed customers to buy these “Kickapoo” remedies.  Soon, the shows became so popular that the company had a many as one hundred troupes touring the country and selling products.

Bibliography:

Indian dream book (1910). Clintonville, Conn: Kickapoo Indian Medicine Co. p. 13-25.

Scheeder, L. (2000). Medicine Shows. In S. Pendergast & T. Pendergast (Eds.), St. James  Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (Vol. 3, p. 339). Detroit: St. James Press.

Collins, W. F. (1924, January 20). HOKUM: The story of ballyhoo. third article. The Los Angeles Times, pp. G6, G12.

Anderson, A., and Falk, H. R. (2000) Snake Oil, Hustlers, and Hambones: The American Medicine Show. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.

Rosenberg, J. (2012), Barbarian Virtues in a Bottle: Patent Indian Medicines and the Commodification of Primitivism in the United States, 1870–1900. Gender & History, 24: 368–388.

Weiser-Alexander, K. (2012, May). American history: Patent medicines and the popular medicine show. Retrieved from http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ah-patentmedicine.html

The Kickapoo Indian Medicine Company. (1998). Digger Odell Publications. Retrieved from http://www.bottlebooks.com/kickapoo.htm

Credits:

Jasmine Paje
November, 2013

Mia Fredricks
November, 2012

William Brown
November, 2011

Revised and edited 3/2/14 S. M. Kerwin

 

Iodized Echafolta

Iodized Echafolta

Iodized Echafolta

 Iodized echafolta, a pharmaceutical preparation that combines Echinacea and iodine, was marketed by the Lloyd Brothers beginning in 1885. Originally a surgical disinfectant for external use, this form of Echinacea tincture was marketed as a potent yet soothing topical solution with a wide range of uses.

Echinacea are species of perennial plants native to North America that are easily recognized by their flowers, from which they derive the common name “purple coneflowers.” Archeological evidence indicates that  Native Americans were using these plants over 400 years ago.  In the 18th and 19th centuries, Echinacea was taken orally to to treat scarlet fever, syphilis, malaria, blood poisoning, and diphtheria. Now considered by many as able to prevent the common cold, heal wounds, relieve sore throats, and reduce coughing, Echinacea is marketed as an immuno-stimulant.  Clinical trials have shown some positive effects in lessening the severity and duration of some viral and fungal infections, possibly related to the ability of Echinacea to stimulate phagocytosis.

Bibliography:

Ehrlich, S. D. (2009, December 14). Echinacea. Retrieved November 15, 2011, from University of Maryland Medical Center website: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/echinacea-000239.htm

History. (n.d.). Lloyd brothers, pharmacists, inc. [Lloyd library and museum]. Retrieved November 17, 2011, from http://www.lloydlibrary.org/history/lloyd%20pharmacy.html

Jellin, J. M., & Gregory, P. J. (Eds.). (1995-2011). Echinacea (Monograph). Retrieved from Therapeutic Research Faculty website: http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com

Leigh, E. (2001). Echinacea. Retrieved November 16, 2011, from The Herb Research Foundation website: http://www.herbs.org/greenpapers/echinacea.html

Lloyd Brothers. (n.d.). Echafolta. In Dose Book of Specific Medicines (1907). (Original work published 1907). Retrieved from http://www.archive.org/stream/dosebookspecifi00ogoog/dosebookspecifi00ogoog_djvu.txt

Iodized Echafolta, Lloyd Brothers, Pharmacists, Inc., Cincinnati, OH

Credits:

Stephanie Culwell

November 2011

Ipecac

Ipecac

Ipecac

Ipecac comes from the dried roots and rhizomes of the two plants Cephaelis acuminata and Cephaelis ipecacuanha which are part of the Rubiaceae family. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, ipecac was transported from the forests of South America to Europe’s capital cities. As the interest in the medicinal effects of ipecac grew during the 19th and 20th centuries, the pure alkaloid emetine, derived from the powdered root of ipecac, was used to treat amoebic dysentery. In low doses, ipecac was used as an expectorant.
Ipecac also was used to induce vomiting. In 1894, scientists discovered that ipecac consisted of two distinct alkaloids with homologous structures, emetine and cephaelin which cause ipecac’s emetic effects. Today, the emetic effects of ipecac are still used. Some parents keep the syrup of ipecac in case their children ingest harmful substances. However, the use of ipecac to induce vomiting is now discouraged. If someone has ingested any amount of poison, he should call one of the Poison Control Centers available nationally through a toll-free number (1-800-222-1222).

Bibliography:

Culpeper. (1790). English Physician; and Complete Herbal. London, Great Britain.

Desai, G. J., & Hughes, E. K. (2008). Household Poisons. In Y. Zhang (Ed.), Global health (Vol. 4, pp. 865-866). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Hare, H. A. (1918). A textbook of practical therapeutics (17th ed.). New York, NY: Lea & Febiger.

Helvetius, A. C. (1703). Traité des maladies les plus fréquentes, et des remedes propres a les guerir (Vol. 2). Paris, France.

Lee, M. R. (2008). Ipecacuanha: the South American vomiting root. The Journal Of The Royal College Of Physicians Of Edinburgh, 38(4), 355-360.

Quang, L. S., & Woolf, A. D. (2000). Past, present, and future role of ipecac syrup. Current Opinion In Pediatrics, 12(2), 153-162.

Credits:

Jennifer Depinet
December, 2012

Hammelis Leaves

Percy MedicineHamamelis

Hamamelis

Hamamelis leaves come from the plant Hamamelis virginiana, a small deciduous tree or shrub common in the Northeastern United States and Canada that bears yellow flowers in the late fall giving the plant the common name “winterbloom”.
Hamamelis is widely used today in the form of a distilled extract sold as Witch Hazel, another common name for this plant.  This astringent applied directly to the skin can relieve pain, stop bleeding, control itching, and  reduce symptoms of eczema.  It has also been used to treat muscle aches, varicose veins, and sores or bruises. Witch Hazel contains tannins that can coat proteins and provide a soothing effect. It also contain another class of compounds called flavonoids, which may have curative properties as well.
Hamamelis leaves are generally considered safe when applied externally as Witch Hazel or other preparations.  However, patients should be more cautious when ingesting the plant because it contains  small amounts of toxic compounds such as acetaldehyde and the carcinogen safrole. The high tannin concentration in the leaves and bark (>10%) can cause liver and kidney damage if ingested.

Bibliography:

Hamamelis virginiana L. (witch hazel). Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website: http://www4.agr.gc.ca/ (accessed November 6, 2012) 

 

Moore, S. (2010, April 7). The Uses of Hamamelis virginiana. LiveStrong website: http://www.livestrong.com/article/102557-uses-hamamelis-virginiana/ (accessed November 6, 2012)
“New Colon Cancer Research from S. Sanchez-Tena and Co-Researchers Described.” Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week  Apr. 7, 2012, 916.
Witch Hazel (2012)  In A. DerMarderosian & J. A. Beutler (Eds.), The review of natural products. Accessed November 6, 2012.
Witch Hazel. (2011). In Natural medicines comprehensive database.  Retreived from http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed November 6, 2012. 

Credits:

Adam Khan
December, 2012

Angier’s Emulsion

Angier's Emulsion

Angier’s Emulsion

Angier’s Emulsion was manufactured by the Angier Chemical Company beginning in  the late 1800’s and was sold world-wide throughout the mid 20th century. Angier’s Emulsion was originally compounded and marketed as a “food-medicine” and cure for a variety of respiratory ailments.   The principle ingredient of this product was refined petroleum oil.  Studies carried out as early as 1884 demonstrated that petroleum oil has no nutritional value. In response, Angier Chemical Company reformulated the product and marketed it as a laxative for “temporary constipation relief.” However, the notion that Angier’s Emulsion helped sooth membranes, including those of the respiratory tract continued to be prominently featured in advertisements, which promoted this product’s use to treat influenza infection and other respiratory illnesses.

Bibliography:

American Medical Association. (1916). Angier’s Emulsion [Monograph]. The Propaganda for Reform in Proprietary Medicines, 9th Edition, 1, 172-173.
Puckner, W. A. (1914) Angier’s Emulsion in Journal of the American Medical Association, p. 962.
Angier Chemical Company. (n.d.). Angier’s Emulsion [Pamphlet]. Retrieved from http://www.wellcomecollection.org/explore/sickness–health/images.aspx
Advertisement [Special section]. (1908, January 1). Medical Press and Circular, 136(1), xiii.

 

Credits:

Masie Comen
November, 2011

Kevin King
November, 2012

revised 3/2/14 S. M. Kerwin