It may treatment virtually any ‘feminine ailment’ – even most cancers – mentioned the adverts. However Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound was, the truth is, only a concoction of herbs and alcohol of no confirmed medicinal advantage. That didn’t cease determined American girls from shopping for bottles of the stuff – and writing to Lydia Pinkham for medical recommendation.
Why did her prospects shun ‘skilled’ medical doctors and choose as an alternative for quack medicines? And why, when Lydia Pinkham lastly got here in for criticism, did nobody query the efficacy of her vegetable compound?
Sarah Stage’s indispensable biography of Lydia Pinkham is Feminine Complaints.
Different books concerning the historical past of drugs (and quackery) embrace
Eric Jameson The Pure Historical past of Quackery
Stuart Holbrook The Golden Age of Quackery
James Harvey Younger The Toadstool Millionaires
Druin Burch Taking the Drugs
Supplemented by Britannica’s biography of Thomas W Dyott and “Was There Actually a Dr Robertson?“
Different sources on Lydia Pinkham:
Jean Burton Lydia Pinkham is Her Title
Rebecca Rego Barry “Was Lydia E. Pinkham the Queen of Quackery?“
On how girls have been handled by the medical occupation see additionally
Elinor Cleghorn Unwell Girls
Caroline Criado Perez Invisible Girls
Werner Troesken’s traditional article concerning the economics of snake oil is The Elasticity of Demand With Respect to Product Failures: see additionally Chris Dillow’s essay about Troesken and politics.