Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thought of the Day #88 - Antique Medication

A friend of ours has asked us to sell some recently inherited antique
bottles on eBay. Antique bottle collectors rely heavily on eBay (the
evil overlord of auctions online), so it's a pretty safe sales risk.

Today, we looked through the most recent lot of bottles to sell. What
sets these apart from the ones we've sold previously? They're full!
Full of antique, unique, smelly and hazardous "cures".

Fearing potential liability, I decided I would not list any bottles
containing potentially hazardous contents, especially those that
could be used to kill someone. So, eliminated the medicines that
contained arsenic and strychnine. You might be surprised to see how
many remedies contained those. In 5 boxes, there were three. Oh, and
any that contained cocaine? Also not going to sell those. Only saw two
of those.

What's tricky with much of this stuff is that chemical or herbal names
are unknown to me...and sometimes Google. There's so many long
forgotten chemical "remedies" and infrequently used herbs in this

My favorite herb that I successfully located on Google -- "false
unicorn." It supposedly helps with all sorts of "female trouble". Who
knows? Maybe it does work? Do we really know and use the best meds now?
How much of what we use is promoted purely for financial gain and not
for the betterment of man?

I also wonder how many medicines we use now will be thought of as
obviously hazardous in 100 years.
My guess is that there will be quite a few.