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Papers of the Week

2019 Winter

J Hist Dent



Swanson’s Five Drops.


Croll TP
J Hist Dent. 2019 Winter; 67(3):147-148.
PMID: 32495739.


If one is searching for a perfect example of why the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was needed, this 1901 SWANSON'S RHEUMATIC CURE CO. foldover brochure would fit the bill (Figures 1A, 1B, and 1C). The SWANSON "FIVE DROP" REMEDIES were heralded as "the faithful guardian and sentinel of the human system" that "stands at the door and challenges every germ that knocks for admittance." FIVE DROPS had an "unfailing effect in the following diseases Rheumatism in all its forms, Sciatica, Backache, Neuralgia, Nervousness, Sleeplessness, Nervous and Neuralgic Headaches, Nervous Dyspepsia, and Nervous affections of every description, Asthma, Hay Fever, Croup and Bronchitis, Catarrh, Heart Weakness, (), Earache, La Grippe, Malaria, Creeping Numbness and kindred diseases." What couldn't these drops cure? A bottle of Swanson's Five Drops is pictured in Figures 2A and 2B.