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When Wine and Serious Organic-Type Drugs Were Used Medicinally

These Were the Good Ole Days?

I just got one of those Emails that circulates around and around until it finally makes its way to your computer. Being in the wine business, I’m fascinated by the history of wine. I didn’t realize that at the turn of the twentieth century, wine had the following medicinal uses. This stuff makes medical marijuana look like pablum by comparison. I do believe in medical maryjane, BTW. It comes from nature, and could be managed by the FDA, but I imagine that pharmaceutical companies have a major invested interest in their chemical concoctions continuing to be produced to the exclusion of marijuana. Who knows the havoc chemicals causes our bodies? Can we process that stuff without doing eventual damage to our liver and kidneys? These are the questions I take to heart. Meanwhile, this flash from the past is like walking through a snake oil museum. Enjoy!

Bayer’s Heroin:

A bottle of Bayer’s heroin existed between 1890 and 1910. Heroin was sold as a non-addictive substitute for morphine. It was also used to treat children with a strong cough. What’s that non-addictive stuff about? Just goes to prove how the marketing arm turns, and what gest it spit out for us to swallow… literally.

Coca Wine, anyone?

Mariani Wine (1875): This was the most famous Coca wine of it’s time. Pope Leo XIII used to carry one bottle with him all the time. He awarded Angelo Mariani (the producer) with a Vatican gold medal. I honestly think that if priests were allowed to marry, all these issues of not being able to face a day as a human being – but trapped in that kind of a body – would just go away. I can say this, as I recover from my youth being spent in a Catholic School.

Maltine Coca Wine: Produced by Maltine Manufacturing Company of New York, it was suggested that you should take a full glass with or after every meal… Children should take half a glass. I like the philosophy (for adults, only), just remove the cocaine, please. That’s a bit over the top for functioning after a meal.

Metcalf Coca Wine was one of a huge variety of wines with cocaine that was commercially on the market. Everybody used to say that it would make you happy and it would also work as a medicinal treatment. We’ve got a few examples of this one. Totally kookie. I’ve not yet heard about this one. I wonder if all of this gave birth to the FDA. Feel free to jump in and educate me on this one. At some point it would be fun to do some research on it. For today’s purposes, I just spent a boatload of time just copying these images, so they didn’t distort.

C.F. Boehringer & Soehne’s Quinine and Cocaine: The paper weight image is promoting C.F. Boehringer & Soehne from Mannheim, Germany. The company was promoting the fact that they were the biggest producers in the world of products containing quinine and cocaine.

Opium for Asthma, National Vaporizer Company: Vapor Oil Treatment No. 6 contained 40 percent alcohol and three grams of opium per ounce. Sure to cure “the vapors,” it was recommended for asthma and other spasmodic affections, the price was 50 cents, and was produced in Kalamazoo, Michigan. June 30, 1908 date is on the side of the bottle.

Dragees Antiseptiques Au Menthol: A product of Anvers, France, at the time it was recommended that this snake oil was to be used by all stage actors, singers, teachers, and preachers, in order to have a maximum performance. It was “Great to ‘smooth’ the voice.” This was a cocaine product.

Lloyd Manufacturing Company:  It was advertised as being very popular for children in 1885. “Not only did they relieve the pain, they made the children happy!” Instantaneous cure. Price was $0.15. Produced in Albany, New York.

Stickney and Poor’s Paregoric: It was used to treat diarrhea, but moms also learned that it would quickly help a fussy child fall asleep. This old image shows that it contained 1 1/16th gram of opium and was 46 percent alcohol. Today? Paregoric Oral is still used to treat diarrhea, and Paregoric Oral may also be used to treat Codeine/Morphine-Like drug dependence of a newborn.

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2 Responses to “When Wine and Serious Organic-Type Drugs Were Used Medicinally”

  1. Joe Phillips says:

    This is all very interesting and will become more so when we see the government legalize marijuana for tax revenues. Jo, thanks for the history lesson.

  2. Jo says:

    Joe,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I found this one to be totally fascinating, and couldn’t resist reformatting it.

    Each night, during CNN’s commercial breaks, I listen to why we shouldn’t take certain legalized drugs because of their side effects. It’s an amazing thing to hear. (I’m not on any medications, with my last prescription being in the early 1990’s with a finger infection from gardening. I’ve been gardening organically, since the 1970s.)

    Pharmaceuticals have all been legalized through our system, while having been created in a laboratory somewhere. Yet, what’s been produced by nature – like marijuana – hasn’t gone through the mercantile system, yet, because legislators haven’t seen the tax benefit, sans lobbyists. As you noted, it’s slowly beginning to occur to our government that it could be a serious revenue stream. Hum… I wonder how long it will take to have it become a legalized option for it’s medicinal benefits.

    I live with caffeine and wine as my drugs of choice… both natural and giving me an enhanced benefit.

    The ones above – approved by our government – way back when – gave some benefit to our system, but went away – thank God, and was a fun read.

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