Monday, September 21, 2009


I received this in the mail and thought it would make a fun post.

A bottle of Bayer's heroin. Between 1890 and 1910 heroin was sold as a non-addictive substitute for morphine. It was also used to treat children with strong cough.
Metcalf Coca Wine was one of a huge variety of wines with cocaine on the market. Everybody used to say that it would make you happy and it would also work as a medicinal treatment.
Mariani wine (1875) was the most famous Coca wine of it's time. Pope Leo XIII used to carry one bottle with him all the time. He awarded Angelo Mariani (the producer) with a Vatican gold medal.
Maltine was produced by Maltine Manufacturing Company of New York . It was suggested that you should take a full glass with or after every meal.. Children should take half a glass.
A paper weight promoting C.F. Boehringer & Soehne ( Mannheim , Germany ). They were proud of being the biggest producers in the world of products containing Quinine and Cocaine.
Opium was used for asthma!
Cocaine tablets were used in the early 1900s by stage actors, singers, teachers and preachers for a maximum performance. Seems they soothed the voice.

Cocaine toothache drops were very popular for children in 1885. Not only did they relieve the pain, they made the children happy!

Opium was used for newborns. I'm sure this would make them sleep well (not only the Opium, but 46% alcohol!)

This may or may not be true but I know my parents had some weird cures for things at times. I can remember hiding under the bed from my father and him pulling me out and forcing me to take castor oil. It was the most vile tasting stuff I ever had and I can still remember the taste from childhood.

My dad thought that chicken noodle soup and ice cream would cure anything. The minute we came down with a cold or upset stomach, he was off to the grocery for those two items. It's funny that now they say chicken soup is good for the soul and a cold!

Do you have any home remedies for what ails you or remember any from childhood???


CountryDreaming said...

All of these old-tyme cures boggle the mind ...

My father used to and still does drink tea from morning till night. He claimed that when the rest of the family would come down with a cold or flu, the tea helped him keep immune. I'm a big tea drinker myself. I also use echinacea when I feel myself coming down with a cold or flu, and many times it nips the illness in the bud! Careful with echinacea though ... use it only in an emergency, and following the directions, as prolonged use (they say not to use it for more than a few weeks at a time, but I say don't even use it that much!) will damage the liver.

Balisha said...

Lydia Pinkams guaranteed a baby in every bottle. Father John's medicine was given as a tonic. A bit of pheno barbitol was given for teething.There must have been lots of happy people back in the old days.

Sylvia K said...

What a fun post, Judy! What a hoot! And I have to agree with Balisha -- I bet that there were lots of happy people back in the old days!!!

Thanks for a big giggle to start the day!


Margaret Cloud said...

What an interesting post, I guess those cures would make you happy. In the winter months my mom would line us kids up and gave us caster oil all winter long. I made sure I was first in line, not because I liked it but wanted to get it over. Mom always made her own cough syrup from putting an onion in a glass and turned it upside down on a saucer, when the syrup ran out we got a spoon full, ugh. Thank you for coming by.

grammyof13 said...

What a neat post. I wonder at what time the opium, cocaine etc was deemed harmful? I do remember one of the "teachings" of our church forbade the use of opium and even morphine! and of course among other things "tobacco". I wonder what our founding fathers (of the church that is) had information on concerning these.
My husband remembers "red drops" the Dr. gave to cure anything. Please don't mention "castor oil!" uggh!!-argh!! cough!!- upchuck!!!

bobbie said...


My father always favored Carter's Little Liver Pills.
He was also a hypochondriac, and whenever the doctor walked into our house, after being called because he or one of us coughed or sneezed, the doctor would say to my mother "I thought I told you to break the thermometer", to which she would reply "I did, but he keeps buying new ones"

Amber Star said...

I missed out on all the fun remedies for what ails ya, but my doctor now has a flu regemin that will for sure make you way happier than you were before. It involves whiskey, lemons, sugar...I think, a pain pill, some super cough medicine after you have a hot bath and are still warm and snuggly. You get to sleep pretty quickly after that.

I didn't know that chicken soup didn't cure everything. hmm...I use it for all sorts of things.

Balisha said...

Judy...This has nothing to do with your post. I made your chili and have the bread pudding in the oven as I type this.The house smells wonderful.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Judy, Cute post.... I don't know whether this is all true or not---but if it was, I'm sure your ancestors had 'interesting' lives... ha ha

I had to take cod-liver-oil as a child---and never knew why... Maybe it was like Omega is today...

Do you remember Carter's Little Liver Pills????? I also remember castor oil...

Thanks for the memories.

Jeannie said...

Ahhhhh, the good ol' days. I guess everyone was pretty loaded, huh??

I use herbal remedies whenever possible. Two I swear by are feverfew tablets (for headaches) and one that can somewhat fit in with your post: California Poppy Tea, which I use for sleep. Although it is non-addictive (unlike the red poppy), I am careful when I use any poppy. Works like a charm though.

Dr.John said...

I remember camphorated oil on a hot cloth put on your chest for a cold.

Grannyann said...

Oh gosh, yes I remember Castor oil and there were some ungodly foul tasting cough drops that were supposed to taste like cherry but they tasted like burning tires smell. Oh they were awful. I used to get car sick and they would give me a table spoon of whiskey with a dash of sugar. Where do you suppose they got all that terrible stuff????

Ugich Konitari said...

I guess Castor Oil was Universal. Here in India, I remember something called Sloan's Ointment from my childhood. I dont think we get it now . Anytime we had these bad leg pains at night or my fathers back bothered him, we would be rubbing this Sloans Ointment, which was a liquid thing. It use to burn like mad, but the pain vanished. Actually none of the fancy ointments and rubs that you get now are a patch on it.

Another thing was something called Mendol's Paint. Anyway who had a bad cough or throat, did "aaaah", and someone with a sterilised cotton (dipped in Mendols paint), at the end of a stick would sort of paint your throat with the stuff. It was terrible but always worked. :-)

anewwayoflife08 said...

my dad gave me Indian Brandy for a toothache, I was sick for days, haha

anewwayoflife08 said...

I have just remembered another, it was called Black Jack and it was a thick black drawing cream which was put on my dads boils to draw them, that stuff stank

anewwayoflife08 said...

I have just remembered another, it was called Black Jack and it was a thick black drawing cream which was put on my dads boils to draw them, that stuff stank


A most interesting post Judy, my mother always gave us cod liver oil and malt to keep the colds at bay, it tasted awful but we never seemed to get the illnesses children do nowadays.
Thanks for sharing this post , I really enjoyed the read.


Beth said... THAT'S what they mean when they say the "good old days."

Great post, Judy. Actually, even back in the sixties when I was a little girl, I remember my mama giving me paregoric. In fact, I still remember how it tasted. I don't remember feeling especially happy, but it did seem to make me feel quite tranquil. My Grandpa, who was a farmer who didn't believe in doctors, drank a small glass of apple cider vinegar every day along with a big spoon of honey from his hives. He also took something called Black Draught (I think). I have no idea what that was for, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to take it. :-)

Nezzy said...

Oh my, the old Castor Oil. Do I remember that well. I believe most of those ads have been documented. Amazing that any of us survived.

Thanks for the memories..hummm...I enjoyed visiting today. Ya'll have a fantastic Caster Oil free day!!!

Kate said...

Hi Judy,

Gosh you always bring back lots of memories, castor oil eeeeeeek !! Oh I hated the stuff too, it was foul.

Another home remedy was when we had a sore throat my Dad would use a tea knife and cut off a teaspoon of butter and dip it into the sugar and we would have to lean back while he fed it into our mouths... being sure that it went down slowly to ease the throat !!! It was even worse when we had to have margarine not butter - it was a make of margarine called Echo.... it was disgusting. (like lard).

Another was when we had toothache it was painted with a wee stick round which a piece of cotton wool was wound and that was dipped in whisky .... That didn't taste too bad funnily enough !!

Cheers Kate x.

Nezzy said...

Judy, thanks for droppin' by with your sweet comment. In the words of Granny Clampett, "ya'll come back now, ya hear!!!"

Enjoy your day! TN said...

My Daddy gave us Raleighs Liniment. He thought that cured everything. I can remember drinking it and it would come out my nose and burn like you know what! :-) He sold thse products at one time and I still have a bottle of the Liniment. There was a kind that you rubbed on your body too. I think it was for sore musles. And he used to blow smoke in our ears for the ear ache.

Rachel said...

I don't recall getting the Castor Oil that so many got, thankfully!

We did use Camphor and a hot cloth on our chests, also Vick's salve.

When we got a cut they put turpentine and sugar on it.

From some of the stuff listed in your post it's a wonder some survived the good old days!!

Hope you are having a rain free day today!!

One Woman's Journey said...

Oh my, seems like everyone was on a drug. I remember the castor oil - so well. Horrible and I can remember asking my mother "why don't you take it?"
Thanks for the memories.

Leigh said...

I remember growing up that Dad always thought that Alka-Seltzer would cure anything. Of course he insisted that you had to drink 50 ounces of water with it and it just made me want to puke! Grandmother always thought ice chips would make any child feel better and you thought that if you slapped enough Vicks Vapor Rub on me and Anne that it would break up any congestion...your's probably worked more than any of them. :) heheh

Love you Mom!!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Amazing our ancestors lived to tell the story with those drugs! Wow.

Chicken soup and Jello were the "drugs" of choice when I was growing up!

Hope your weekend is good.


June Saville said...

I believe that even Coca Cola used to have quinine in its original secret recipe ...
June in Oz

Judy AKA Sunny said...

Those are all very interesting "remedies." All natural.... and my guess is that they were out-lawed so that pharmacies would make bigger money!

A home-cure from my young childhood: 40's 50's and 60's...

My mother would make us kids drink her homemade Ginger Tea, as it made us throw up! She claims it helped get rid of the bugs from the bad colds......

Sounds logical, lol. But like you...I can *still* taste that and the memory is strong!