Monday, April 4, 2011

Remedy Rhapsody

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Yuck!  I hate being sick.  It seems especially offensive as the weather is finally improving, the sun is shining on a weekend for a change but I'm feeling very under the weather with a spring virus.  I'm not as holistic as I think I should be.  We have a large medicine cabinet full of lotions and potions from the local drug store.  My secret motto is "have drugs will travel".  As I think in a more vintage or retro vein, I started wondering about old fashioned remedies for colds.  

In the good ol' days, cough drops were made with opiates such as morphine and heroin.  I remember when we were vacationing in Paris awhile back, I was given at a drug store, some codeine-filled soft chews for a persistent cough.  Ahhh, another reason to like the French!  I might not have actually improved in health, but with such powerful drugs in my system, I may not have cared!  What about using animal droppings as a cure-all?!  This practice has been in use since the Egyptian times.  I think I would have to be feeling pretty ill to consider this one!  I may consider another old remedy that consists of adding crushed raw garlic to warm milk.  Hmmm...maybe not!

Here are some fun, old ads for cold remedies:

Unknown’s Bulgarian Herb Tea – Kill That Cold! Guard Against Influenza (1928)
1920's print ad
Photos courtesy of

Sal Hepatica Laxative #2 (1937)
1930's print ad

Vick’s Nose Drops (1934)
1940's print ads

Smith Brothers – No Extra Cost For Vitamin A (1939)

Chas. H. Phillips Chemical Co.’s Milk of Magnesia – Have You Crossed the "Fatal Forty" Line? (1934)
This is not an ad for colds. But I had
to include it as it made me laugh!

Pine Brother’s Glycerine Tablets – Dry Throat breeds Germs of Coughs and Colds (1939)


Try your own home remedies...

Vinegar For Your Health: Old Fashioned Remedies For Common Ailments

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