Taking old medicines

I am at my Cornish castle for a while, deep in darkest, rainiest November, and while clearing out the bathroom cabinet I came across the world’s oldest medicine (above).

I have no idea what “Colonel Pryce-Fawcett’s Patent Amphoteric Enlivening Liniment” actually does, but I imagine it is based on galvanic principles and can, under the right circumstances, transform base metals into gold. This looks as if it was first launched at the Great Exhibition of 1851, and has sat in our bathroom cupboard since.

I am not sure what happens if you take really old medicines. It might cure you of old diseases, like pox, or whooping cough. On the other hand it might give you them. For safety’s sake I am keeping the bottle in full view and watching it with the beady eye of a hawk, or lynx, whichever one is the beadiest.

However, the medicine still exists, according to my detailed research of typing it into Google. If you look at this modern packaging you can see that fonts may have moved on, but aluminium hydroxide gel B.P. can still help you work, rest, and digest.

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