Posted by: cialci | November 10, 2012

Victorian Remedies

I had read a novel years ago set in the Victorian age and one thing that struck me was a line that had a female character claiming to have taken small drops of arsenic to keep her complexion pale.  I think I was only about twelve when I read this book, and I was intrigued.  Being a rather impressionable child, I was lucky that my parents did not keep arsenic in the house. Having enjoyed our class discussion last week on product advertisements . . . which veered into a discussion about today’s impact of advertising on the consumer . . . I wanted to do a search online for information regarding some of the bizarre remedies sold for simple ailments, such as toothache, during Victorian times.  I learned that Bayer used heroin in its early formula for aspirin (“safe for children”) and cocaine, of course, was in almost everything.  It’s a wonder people managed to survive the cures sold to them.


  1. I wonder what the addiction rate was when those products were being marketed and sold, or maybe it was tied to the number of mental patients (like the woman from a previous post who was admitted for alcoholism.)

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