Saturday, 17 December 2011



For many years during the mid- to late-eighteenth century a sovereign cure for the gullible, Beaume de Vie, was advertised in newspapers in almost every county. This ‘most admirable Family Medicine’ was on sale for three shillings a bottle at many pharmacies.

Who could resist such persuasive copy? Look at the high-class language: really way beyond the capacities of an ordinary man. And you could always tell an educated gentleman by his language: an educated man could be trusted. Couldn't he?

By the KING’S Patent

The great Number of extraordinary Cures daily performed by this most efficacious Medicine, accounts of which are sent from all Parts of the British Dominions, render it unnecessary to lavish Encomiums on its salutary Effects; suffice it therefore to say, that the Beaume, by its cordial, attenuating, and detergent Powers, fortifies the Stomach and Bowels, and by procuring a good Digestion, purifies the Blood and Juices, and gives Vigour to the whole Constitution. To these Qualities the Faculty attribute its having proved so eminently serviceable in Gouty, Rheumatic, Scorbutic, Languid, Nervous, and Hypochondriac Cases: and hence, also, they account for its being so particularly beneficial in Female Disorders.

CASE – A.C. Esq; of a gross, corpulent Habit, had been several Years so afflicted with ulcerated Legs, that he could not walk: The sedentary life he led had reduced him so low, that he was confined to his Chamber, with both Legs supported on a Stool; and, to add to his Misery, he was constantly tormented with the Gout. A Friend, who was Eye-Witness to the good Effects of the Beaume de Vie, in the Case of Mr S, which he thought similar, strongly recommended it to him: He, for a long time, declined it, from a Dislike to advertised Medicines, but his Case growing daily worse, he at last ventured. The good Effects were almost instantaneous; Sleep, which for a long Time had forsaken him, was restored: His Appetite which had been quite palled, returned; and his Digestion was good. In Six Weeks his Gout left him; and in two more, the Ulcers, which during the Course was dressed with a Dossel [bandage] of Lint dipped in the Beaume were perfectly cicatrised. It is nine Months since the Cure was completed, and he can walk eight or ten Miles at a Time. He has not had the least Return of any Complaint except once that he was threatened with an Attack of the Gout but which yielded to a few Spoonfuls of the Beaume.

1 comment:

  1. Neat blog.