Doctor Fenner’s Golden Relief



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…

via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/pyeGqf

Advertisements

Is there a doctor in the house?


You know how sometimes people say things were better in the olden days?  Those people are liars, cuz in the olden days, people were fucking insane.  Exhibit A:  Dr. Chase’s Nerve Food.  Don’t let the Vitamin B1 fool you.

Dr. Chase's Nerve Food

Dr. Chase's Nerve Food

Dr. Chase is obviously a consummate professional, because lets face it, there’s something trustworthy about a face like Colonel Sanders, or C. Everett Koop.  Anyway, Colonel..err..Dr. Chase had just the thing if you were unfortunate enough to suffer from Tired Feelings, Sleeplessness, Nervous Indigestion, Nervous Headache, or a Pale and Sallow Complexion.  So if you’ve ever been tired, or not tired, had indigestion, or a headache, boy howdy, is this the thing for you.  The instructions suggest 1 pill after each meal and at bedtime.  After 10 days, the dose can be increased to 2 pills after meals and before bedtime.  What, you might ask is in this magical elixer that cures both tiredness, and not tiredness in one little pill?  Why, it’s a Snakehandler’s best friend, Strychnine, and Arsenic.   What did you expect, Heroin?  Nope, good guess though, I’m saving that one for a different day.  As always, click on the pictures if you want to actually read the tiny letters.  As a bonus, you can read them in either English, or French.

 

 

 

mmmmmm, what a treat!

mmmmmm, what a treat!

Kids, remember to take your Strychnine after meals!

Kids, remember to take your Strychnine after meals!

Pale and Sallow Complexion, or a Nervous Headache

Pale and Sallow Complexion, or a Nervous Headache

Nervous Indigestion, or Sleeplessness

Nervous Indigestion, or Sleeplessness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmm, I wonder, what are the symptoms of Strychnine, and/or Arsenic poisoning?  Lets just trot on over to the CDC and ask them:

“Strychnine prevents the proper operation of the chemical that controls nerve signals to the muscles. The chemical controlling nerve signals works like the body’s “off switch” for muscles. When this “off switch” does not work correctly, muscles throughout the body have severe, painful spasms. Even though the person’s consciousness or thinking are not affected at first (except that the person is very excitable and in pain), eventually the muscles tire and the person can’t breathe.”

The signs and symptoms of acute arsenic poisoning include the following:

  • Gastrointestinal: severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and bloody or rice-water diarrhea
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory: hypotension, shock; ventricular arrhythmia; congestive heart failure; and pulmonary edema
  • Neurologic: light-headedness; headache; weakness, lethargy; delirium; encephalopathy; convulsions; coma; and sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy
  • Hepatic and renal: elevated liver enzymes; hematuria, oliguria, proteinuria; and acute tubular necrosis, renal cortical necrosis
  • Hematologic: anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • Other: rhabdomyolysis, garlic odor on the breath, and delayed appearance of Mees lines.

That’s right, the active ingredients in Dr. Chase’s Nerve Pills, are…poisons that fuck up your nerves.  IANAD, but should you ever find yourself suffering from the symptoms of Strychnine, and/or Arsenic poisoning, I’m gonna say what you probably don’t need is more Strychnine/Arsenic in your diet.  Don’t let Rhabdomyolysis happen to you!

But, hey.  It’s not like there are any shortage of Dr. Chase’s floating around today.   They just hang out in the “homeopathic” “industry” now, where they retreated to shield their fraud behind the phrase “nutritional supplement” after they were essentially forced out of the medical profession around the time of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938.