Tag Archives: patent medicine

But her carbuncles…

A very old ad for Dr. D. Jayne’s Alterative found in a hardcover copy of Charles Addams’ Dear Dead Days collection.
A very old ad for Dr. D. Jayne’s Alterative found in a hardcover copy of Charles Addams’ Dear Dead Days collection.

Bone shards:

Some very interesting words are used to sell this amazing product. My apologies in advance if you are a Victorian hypochondriac. 

Alterative — a drug used empirically to alter favorably the course of an ailment

Deobstruent — having the power to clear or open the natural ducts of the fluids and secretions of the body

Scrofula — a condition in which the bacteria that causes tuberculosis causes symptoms outside the lungs

King’s Evil — (AKA scrofula) a tuberculous swelling of the lymph glands, once popularly supposed to be curable by the touch of royalty

White Swellings – a swelling seen in tuberculous arthritis, esp. of the knee

Scrofulous — refers to scrofula, or figuratively, morally contaminated and corrupt

Indolent — lazy or slothlike, or a problem that causes no pain, or is slow-growing and not immediately problematic

Mercurial — characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood

Neuralgia — a stabbing, burning, and often severe pain due to an irritated or damaged nerve.

Tic-Douloureux — a severe, stabbing pain to one side of the face

Goitre — (you might know this as “goiter”) a swelling of the thyroid gland that causes a lump in the front of the neck

Bronchocele (swelled neck) — impacted mucoid secretions within the bronchial tree

Tetter – any of various skin diseases, such as eczema, psoriasis, or herpes, characterized by eruptions and itching, or possibly ringworm for old-timers

Biles — either something having to do with your bile/liver/gall bladder, or going back even further, either of two bodily humours, one of which (black bile) was thought to cause melancholy and the other (yellow bile) anger  

Carbuncles — a skin infection that often involves a group of hair follicles. The infected material forms a lump, which occurs deep in the skin and often contains pus.

Dyspepsia — indigestion

Dropsical Swellings — (AKA edema or dropsy) swelling caused by fluid retention

Don’t you feel smarter (and a little bit sicker) now?

Continue reading

…prevents CHOLERA and all manner of Epidemic Diseases…

No hope!
No hope!
Behold! The hydroxychloroquine of the mid-1800s.
Behold! The hydroxychloroquine of the mid-1800s.

Did you know the original snake oil was actually good for something?

“Colorful names and even more colorful claims.”

Learn some signs of medical quackery.

Continue reading

Alternative Juice — A good part of this Kellyanne Conway breakfast.

(Note: It’s actually “alterative juice”, but I’m sticking with alternative juice because it amuses me.)

If you got syphilis, yo, this’ll solve it.
Alternative juice will prolly dissolve it.

Succus Alterans Alternative Juice
Seen at a North Star Auction preview in Bismarck, North Dakota. Alas, I did not win it the next day.

Let’s check out these Succus Alterans Alternative Juice ingredients! According to Wikipedia…

Stillingia sylvatica was used by Native Americans for syphilis and as a cathartic, diuretic, laxative, and emetic. In large doses, it causes vomiting and diarrhea.”

Smilax ornata (sarsparilla) “was a popular European treatment for syphilis when it was introduced from the New World.”

Phytolacca Decandra (pokeweed) is poisonous and was used for skin diseases, rheumatism, weight loss, mumps and arthritis.

Lappa Minor’s (lesser durdock) larger cousin, Arctium lappa, was used as “a diuretic, diaphoretic, and a blood purifying agent” as well as a cancer, skin condition and cold/flu treatment.

Xanthoxylum carolinanium (Hercules’ club) is also known as the “toothache tree” or “tingle tongue” and was used to treat toothache.

Who needs orange juice with a delightful concoction like this!

Continue reading