The Authority of Faraway Places

“The list of alien areas with which nostrums have been christened reads like a gazeteer. The hardy soul could dose himself around the world. What combination of diseases, howsoever dire, could hold out against such an international therapeutic arsenal as Bragg’s Arctic Liniment, Hayne’s Arabian Balsam, Bavarian Malt Extract, Brazilian Bitters, Carpathian Bitters, Castilian Bitters, Crimean Bitters, Kennedy’s East India Bitters, Hoofiand’s German Tonic, Good Hope Bitters, Hoofland’s Greek Oil, Buchan’s Hungarian Balsam, Wyncoop’s Iceland Pectoral, Osgood’s Indian Cholagogue, Mecca Compound, Peruvian Syrup, Persian Balm, Roman Eye Balsam, Redding’s Russian Salve, South American Fever and Ague Remedy, Jayne’s Spanish Alterative, Hart’s Swedish Asthma Medicine, Tobias’ Venetian Liniment, and Westphalia Stomach Bitters? To the ordinary American looking for a remedy to cure his aches and pains, distance seemed to lend enchantment.” (James H. Young, The Toadstool Millionaires, p. 175)

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