I got pretty lucky here this little box of snakeoil lies is completely unopened. It dates to right around 1920, and is fairly typical of snakeoil tonics of the day, the active ingredients being alcohol, ether, and chloroform, along with a variety of herbal oils, like camphor, and hemlock.
It’s not like Hemlock has ever killed anybody…
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I genuinely laughed out loud when I saw this bottle, and knew I had to have it.
Belladona comes from a plant called "Deadly Nightshade", cuz..well, it’s deadly. It’s been used as both a medicine, and a poison for thousands of years. It’s generally regarded as unsafe by modern medicine, on account of it being toxic, and whatnot.
I’m sure Belladona tastes a lot like death, so naturally you’d want to cover it in some chocolate to yummy it up a bit.
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I know what you’re thinkin’. Arsenic is bad for you, right? Well, that’s true, but back in the olden days, syphillis was a problem, and penicillin hadn’t been discovered yet.
When those syphilis sores start oozin’, what you need is a little arsenous iodide salve to fix you right up. I mean, it’s not going to cure your syphillis or anything, it will do a number on those open sores. Mercury was the primary treatment for syphillitic sores, until 1910, when it was discovered that arsenic was actually more effective, and less toxic. So, there ya go. Arsenic doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?
Thank Fleming for antibiotics, eh?
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