Why Our Great-Grandparents were "Happier"
~^~Adapted by David Stewart from material provided by Bob Krone, YL Distributor from Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Today we are prone not to trust the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA). While they were commissioned by the U.S. Congress just over a hundred years ago to protect us from fraudulent and potentially dangerous foods and drugs, today it often seems they are more interested in protecting the vested interests of companies whose foods and potions are far from healthy and, some cases, can make you sick and even cause death. Just listen to the disclaimers on television when advertising over-the-counter or prescription drugs and you know what I mean.
However, before the FDA, there was a real problem to be addressed in the country. The driving factor behind establising the FDA was because of the plethora of medicines and elixers of the 19th century that really were faudulent or dangerous and people were being duped and harmed. For example, there was a weight-loss product sold sold on pharmacy shelves that actually contained tapeworm eggs. So some sort of regulation was certainly in order. But are we better off today because of the FDA, or not?
Anyhow, here are some examples of items freely available to the public during your great-greatgrandparents days which may explain their fond memories of the "Good Old Days," even though thir life spans were shorter.
Between 1890 and 1910 heroin was sold to the public by Friedrich Bayer & Co., a German company later made famous for its aspirin, as a non-addictive substitute for morphine. It was also used to treat children suffering with a stong cough.
Metcalf's Coca Wine claiming to be made from "fresh coca leaves and the purest wine," was one of a large variety of wines containing cocaine on the market. It was recommended for "neuralgia, sleeplessness, despondency, as well as fatigue of mind or body." Distributed by Theodore Metcalf & Co., of Boston, Massachusetts, it promised to be "A Pleasant tonic and Invigorator." While making you "happy," it could also work as "a medicinal treatment."
In 1875 Mariani Wine was the most famous coca wine of its time. Claiming that it was especially effective for "influenza" it promised to "quickly restore health, strength, energy, and vitality as well as "hasten convalescence." Pope Leo XIII used to carry a bottle with him at all times and allowed his smiling image to be featured on the label. The Pope was so pleased, he awarded Angelo Mariani, formulator of the libation, with a Vatican Gold Medal. Mariani Wine was distributed by Wilcox & Co. of London.
Maltine With Coca Wine
We all know that Malt has healthy attributes and has been marketed in many forms. Maltine was a 19th century tonic made by the Maltine Manufacturing Co. of New York that contained coca wine. Its lable boasted that Maltinehad won ten Gold Medals." Suggested dosage for adults was one full glass with or after every meal while children should only take half a glass.
Cocaine and Quinine
While cocaine has its own benefits as well as less desirable effects, quinine, an effective treatment for malaria, is also teratogenic (causing birth defects) and must be administered with discretion. The C.F. Boehringer & Soehne Company of Mannheim, Germany, used to boast of themselves as "The largest makers of quinine and cocaine in the world."
Opium for Asthma
The National Vaporizer Co., of Kalamazoo, Michigan, sold a product called "Vapor-OL Treatment No. 6" which contained "not more than 40% alcohol and 3 grains of opium per fluid ounce." It was recommended for "asthma and other spasmodic affections." A bottle cost 50 cents. With that much alcohol and opium, even if it didn't cure you, you didn't care.
A company in France, V. Vanderbroek Pharmacien, used to sell mint flavored pills containing cocain for its anesthetic and antiseptic properties. It was highly recommended for stage actors, singers, techers, and preachers to achieve maximum performance. Great to "smooth" the voice.
Cocain Drops for Toothaches
Lloyd Manufacturing or Albany, New York had an "Instantaneous Cure" for a toothache--"Cocaine Toothache Drops." It was very popular for children in the late 1800s. Not only did they relieve pain, they made the children very happy.
Opium for Newborns
An American company, Sickney and Poor's, Inc., used to sell a 40% alcohol tincture of opium called "Pure Paregoric," which was listed in the U.S. Pharamacopia of remedies at the time. The dosages on the bottle were as follows: Five days old, 5 drops; Two weeks old: 8 drops; Five years old, 25 drops; Adults, 1 teaspoonful. Thus you could insure your baby to sleep well through the night, and yourself as well.
So there you have it. It seems as though yesterday's remedies were designed to keep you stoned, from cradle to grave. But with todays abundance of antidepressants, pain killers, and mind numbing drugs approved by the FDA, are we any different than the generation of our Great Greatgrandparents? The FDA sometimes seems to protect the toxic and ban the beneficial, favoring synthetic substances over natural ones like supplements, herbs, and essential oils.
You decide if we are better off with an FDA or not. We do live longer, and that is a fact. "But how and why?" is the question.