H. T. Helmbold's Extract of Buchu

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John Hartwell

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Aug 27, 2011
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Central Massachusetts
From the Macon Weekly Telegraph, 23 May 1871, nearly a full page is attached below, containing testimonies, etc. to Henry T. Humbold's patent remedies, including many to his "Extract of Buchu."

According to an 1857 notice, it is described as "Helmbold's highly concentrated Compound Fluid Extract Buchu, for diseases of the bladder, kidneys, gravel, dropsy, secret diseases, weakness, obstructions, female complaints, and all diseases of the sexual and urinary organs." It was advertised far and wide during the latter 19th century -- in the US and in Britain.

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PS: "Extract of Buchu," and "Buchu Leaf Powder" are still available today as an herbal remedy: https://www.drugs.com/npc/buchu.html
 

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treebie2000

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Lima, OH
This from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-180/buchu

"Overview Information
Buchu is a plant from South Africa. The leaf is used to make medicine.

Buchu is used for urinary tract infections (UTIs), including infections involving the urethra (urethritis) and kidneys (pyelonephritis). It is also used by mouth for treating inflamed prostate (prostatitis), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), high blood pressure, fever, cough, common cold, upset stomach, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gout, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Buchu is applied to the skin as an insect repellant, as a deodorant, and for skin infections.

In manufacturing, the oil from buchu is used to give a fruit flavor (often black currant) to foods. It is also used as a fragrance in perfumes and colognes."
 
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John Hartwell

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Wow, a patent medicine that actually might have done some of the things it claimed! Most patent meds at the time were more alcoholic than botanical!
Most of them must have offered some sort relief -- even if it was only to make you so high you didn't notice how sick you were. And, a lot of them were based on time-tested folk remedies. It's safe to say, however, that "truth in advertising" was an unknown concept, and claims of effectiveness were routinely exaggerated.
 
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