As a child, I loved visiting my Grandma. She always went out of her way to make me happy and our days were filled with fun activities. If I got sick, she would always dash off to her herb garden or dried herb supply in the pantry, never to the pharmacy.
Most of us believe that using herbs as medicine is an old fashioned thing to do and something people did 100 years ago and you are correct in a way, pharmaceutical drugs only started in the late 1800’s. Leading up to the 1930’s most medicine were sold without prescriptions. Ingredients in Victorian medicine is shocking, to say the least. Lets take a look at popular Victorian-era ingredients and what they were suppose to treat.
- Opium – Was a very popular ingredient and was seen as an “All-Purpose” drug. It was mainly used to treat coughs and diarrhoea. Opium was also given to babies to calm them down before their parents went to work.
- Arsenic – To treat syphilis, cancer, asthma and to improve your libido.
- Mercury – To treat almost anything from syphilis to digestion problems. Mercury was also rubbed into small to moderate wounds.
- Heroin – To treat asthma and coughs.
- Cocaine – Was used to dull toothache and was even used as an anaesthesia in dentist’s offices. Cocaine throat lozenges was very popular among singers, teachers and orators. Vin Mariani created a wine made up of Bordeaux wine and coca leaves. The ethanol in the wine extracted the cocaine from the coca leaves, leaving you with a mixture of wine and cocaine. Each 30 ml of wine contained over 7mg of cocaine. This tonic wine was so enjoyable that Pope Leo XIII awarded it a Vatican medal. Other fans of Mariani’s Coca Wine was Queen Elizabeth and Thomas Edison.
- Morphine – This popular drug was given to toothing babies and was said to cure addiction.
- Cannabis – Was believed to cure hysteria, acute and sub-acute rheumatism, gout, tetanus, neuralgia and hydrophobia.
- Cigarettes – Were believed to soothe coughs, cure asthma, et rid of bad breath and soothe any other disease of the throat.
By the mid 1950’s most governments realised that pharmaceuticals should be monitored. Since then, the laws on what ingredients go in medicine have only become stricter and stricter. It is also compulsory that pharmaceutical companies list each drug’s ingredients as well as its side-effects. Unfortunately one thing has not changed, most drugs are still bad for your health.
Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years and should we, in some cases, return to our roots. By eating the right things we can fight disease before it has even started. Garlic is the best ingredient to ward off the common cold. You can also fight nausea with ginger and combat stress with basil. The list is endless and it truly works. At the bottom of this page you will see and InfoGraphic on all the benefits of Turmeric.
To give you an extra boost you can opt for Ozone Therapy. Ozone is a non-invasive therapy, but an alternative natural therapy. What Ozone does, is it helps your body to absorb more oxygen. We only have about 20-30% of oxygen in our atmosphere, which is not enough. Increased levels of oxygen in our bodies can help us fight bacteria, viruses, inflammation and disease. For more on Ozone and disease, view our 100 Benefits of Ozone page.
Will you be taking a better route?