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Thursday, August 9, 2007

NOSTRUMS: "Hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases; once sought by the alchemists. Patent medicine whose efficacy is questionable"

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Origins: As unlikely as this must sound, there might be some reason to believe tapeworm diet pills were once marketed in the
Tapeworm diet pill cartoon
United States between 1900 and 1920. A number of sources have indicated encountering advertisements
for such products, but whether the products advertised actually matched their descriptions would be difficult to verify. (Just because an ad for a diet pill proclaimed the product contained tapeworms doesn't mean it really did — duping people into buying medicinal nostrums by way of making false and exaggerated claims was standard procedure in the days before government regulation of food and drug products.)
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