Home Remedies and Quack Cures (and a “Royal Touch”): Curing Consumption

It’s known by various names – most commonly tuberculosis, but at times throughout history referred to as:   “consumption” because the patient experienced severe weight loss and was almost literally “consumed” with the disease; phthisis (derived from Latin-Greek phthinein meaning to waste away); scrofula or Pott’s disease; White Plague (making patients appear pale). Evidence of tuberculosis has been found in both human and animal remains known to be between 15,000 to 20,000 years old.  Egyptian mummies were infected with the bacterium and Hippocrates identified “phthisis” as one of the most widespread diseases of his time, observing that autumn was a particularly bad time of the year for persons with consumption. This article is no longer available at this site.  However, it will be enhanced and published later in a future issue of Digging History Magazine, our new monthly digital publication available by individual purchase or subscription.  To see what the magazine is all about you can preview issues at our YouTube Channel.  Subscriptions are affordable, safe and easy to purchase and the best deal for getting your “history fix” every...

Home Remedies and Quack Cures: Sobering Up – Dr. Haines’ Golden Specific

Before it became illegal to lie on the package label, this “cure” for alcoholism was called “Golden Specific” – later changed to “Golden Treatment” when the law went into effect.  Dr. James Wilkins Haines of Cincinnati, Ohio claimed his medicine was endorsed by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and that by merely slipping a bit of it into the husband’s cup of coffee in the morning, the wife could cure him of his taste for alcohol.  According to Haines’ ads it was possible to cure one’s alcoholism in 24 hours!  (Click to enlarge the image) This article is no longer available at this site.  However, it will be enhanced and published later in a future issue of Digging History Magazine, our new monthly digital publication available by individual purchase or subscription.  To see what the magazine is all about you can preview issues at our YouTube Channel.  Subscriptions are affordable, safe and easy to purchase and the best deal for getting your “history fix” every...

Home Remedies and Quack Cures: Hall’s Catarrh Cure

I’ve recently been performing a lot of historical and ancestral research by combing through digitized newspapers.  Inevitably, in the newspapers of the mid-1800’s until the early 1930’s, I am reading advertisements extolling the benefits of so-called miracle cures, also known as patent medicines.  These “medicines” claimed to cure everything from A to Z.  So, I thought it would be fun and interesting to do a series on the history of patent medicine, or “nostrums” as they were called, and some of the quack cures that literally flooded the market in that era.  Here and there I’ll do some articles on home remedies as well. This article is no longer available at this site.  However, it will be enhanced and published later in a future issue of Digging History Magazine, our new monthly digital publication available by individual purchase or subscription.  To see what the magazine is all about you can preview issues at our YouTube Channel.  Subscriptions are affordable, safe and easy to purchase and the best deal for getting your “history fix” every...