The laxative and carminative indications on label of Bon Kora, along with the representation of a svelte naked female physique, left little doubt about this product’s use as a means for chemically-induced bulimia.  Ingredients in Bon Kora include Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), a saline laxative and Cascara sagrada, a strong cathartic.  Anise and caraway, used as digestive aids, and fennel, which helped reduce intestinal spasms, were also included. The label warns that Bon Kora could cause dependence if used frequently.

This medication was sold by the Consolidated Royal Chemical Corporation.  In the late 1930s, this corporation sponsored a number of radio shows,  including one by the Carter family, which was broadcast on the radio station XERA, just across the Mexican border of Del Rio, Texas.  These shows included advertisements for the company’s remedies.


“Federal Trade Commission Weight Loss Products and Services.” Natural Fitness  Group. 2008. Creative Thirst. 12 Nov. 2008. < (accessed Nov. 12, 2008).

“Herbal Remedies – Fennel.” Herbal Remedies Info. 2008. Herbal Remedies Info. (accessed Nov. 12, 2008)

Middleton, Jim. Personal communication. Nov. 12, 2008.

“Royal Chemical.” Royal Chemical. 2002. (accessed Nov. 12, 2008)

“Spices and Herbs: Anise Seed.” Culinary Cafe. (accessed Nov. 12, 2008)

“Spices and Herbs: Caraway Seed.” Culinary Cafe. (accessed Nov. 12, 2008)

“What Are Epsom Salts?” wiseGEEK. 2008. Conjecture Corp. (accessed Nov. 12, 2008)


Laura Elliott
November 2008