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4 Dangerous Drugs Doctors Gave Your Grandparents

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4 Dangerous Drugs Doctors Gave Your Grandparents

Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator with Diana Herrington at Real Food for Life

Many of the drugs that we know are illegal and dangerous, like heroin, were once easily bought at the corner drugstore and recommended by doctors. When you see the old advertisements for these substances, sometimes you cringe, and sometimes you can’t help but laugh!

This is why I am cautious with any “new” health advance that has not yet stood the test of time. I will explain more on this later.

Many of the medicines of the 19th and early 20th century contained psychoactive drugs – alcohol, opium, and cocaine. Doctors didn’t know how these drugs worked but they gave some small relief since you were actually slightly high or drunk. Meanwhile nature took it’s course and if it could, the body naturally healed as it would have anyway without the medicine.

1.  Heroin

The German company Bayer, which now produces one of the most popular pain medications on earth, aspirin, also developed heroin and sold it at your local drugstore.

In fact, when a chemist first developed ASA (aspirin) and presented it to Bayer, management was not interested right away.  They were more excited with another drug they had rediscovered – diacetylmorphine. They trademarked this drug “heroin” because early testers said it made them feel heroisch (a German word for heroic).

Heroin was marketed as a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough suppressant. Medicines containing “smack” were sold in stores just as aspirin is today. The American Medical Association gave heroin its stamp of approval in 1907.

According to a Bayer watchdog group, Bayer promoted heroin for use in children suffering from coughs, colds and “irritation” as late as 1912.

Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup contained 65 mg of morphine, another opiate analgesic, per fluid ounce and was used “for children teething.”

This seems amazing to us now because we know so much more, but people somehow survived! The body is amazing.

Natural Alternatives:

For coughsHoney and finely ground black pepper is a time tested ayurvedic remedy for cough and sore throat used for centuries.

For colds: Many powerfoods are rich in antioxidants necessary to prevent colds and infections before they happen. They also support the immune system once you have a cold. There are many examples:

  • Broccoli: is a rich source of the premier antioxidant nutrient—vitamin C,  plus the flavonoids that allow vitamin C to recycle effectively, plus carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants. Read the 9 Health Benefits of Broccoli here.
  • All alkaline foods: create balance in the body.  An acidid body is an inflamed, unsettled body with unbalanced immunity. Alkaline-forming foods include lemons, spinach, zucchini, watermelon, millet, almonds, and raspberries and even weeds like dandelions. Each one of these foods offers a host of powerful health benefits which you can enjoy with no long list of side effects.

Next page: Cocaine

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).

86 comments

+ add your own
7:01PM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

Thanks

7:30AM PDT on Aug 18, 2013

Thanks for the reminder!

12:28AM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

Codeine linctus for coughs...mmmmmmm!

4:11PM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

Very interesting, thanks. I was told that my great grandfather, a doctor, was addicted to opium and that that was not an unusual case. I've always found the Coca-Cola history interesting. As a child with a lot of respiratory illnesses, I remember my main cough medicine was "ETH&C" (Elixor Terpinhydrate and Codeine). I certainly slept well and I guess am lucky that a habit wasn't formed by it.

4:21PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

amazingly intriguing and informative. loved it. thanks so much!

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

A lot of medications over history have been trial and error and often we are the guinea pigs until long term studies can prove or disprove whether or not the product is actually safe. There are some medications that have saved countless lives while other medications add to the daily burden.

With everything where profit is involved there will be abuse in certain cases by manufacturers.

In many cases there are natural alternatives but it depends on a given situation. Certainly do a lot of research and know about the side effects as there are many times when one has to go with a prescription.

4:39AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

i wonder we have learn anything at all from the past... thanks, will re -post!

4:50PM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

If we are going to point to toxicities, we cannot ignore the things we "like" just because they come under a different "medicinal" heading. Black pepper, for instance, is a well known carcinogenic. As is basil. Oregano and thyme in large amounts are poison; small doses of their oils are highly toxic. (They also kill the HIV virus better than chlorine bleach.) Regular daily use of peppermint tea can lead to Irregular heartbeat, sooner or later depending on amount and individual constitution. Oddly enough, heroin does not kill people or even destroy organs except in cases of overdose, addictive nature aside. Although cannabis indica/sativa was not mentioned here, it is one herb with a zero toxicity rating according to the US agricultural data base, and the only addictive quality is psychological, not physical as it is with caffiene, heroin and a few others things humans use for medicine and/or recreationally. In our zest for health and zeal for avoiding the products of Big Pharma, let us not skimp on personal research.

4:47PM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

If we are going to point to toxicities, we cannot ignore the things we "like" just because they come under a different "medicinal" heading. Black pepper, for instance, is a well known carcinogenic. As is basil. Oregano and thyme in large amounts are poison; small doses of their oils are highly toxic. (They also kill the HIV virus better than chlorine bleach.) Regular daily use of peppermint tea can lead to Irregular heartbeat, sooner or later depending on amount and individual constitution. Oddly enough, heroin does not kill people or even destroy organs except in cases of overdose, addictive nature aside. Although cannabis indica/sativa was not mentioned here, it is one herb with a zero toxicity rating according to the US agricultural data base, and the only addictive quality is psychological, not physical as it is with caffiene, heroin and a few others things humans use for medicine and/or recreationally. In our zest for health and zeal for avoiding the products of Big Pharma, let us not skimp on personal research.

7:49AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Medicine, like everything in this world, in this life is about evolution. Modern society believes in advancement- but have we really? How come there are more cures from way, way back the sages of the past practised that are ,today, being revived???
There is a learning curve in everything, science and medicine and even education. Life is about a never ending learning process. Society is evolving into something so different from the typical nuclear family. Attitudes, tastes and economics changes all the time. Pharmaceuticals are also into an on-going experiment with humanity's health. This will never stop for as long as there is money to be made. It is all about profits. What's good today will be proven bad tomorrow, all for the sake of profit.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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