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Bottle of Hewlett's Damian compound mixture, London, England, 1885-1910

This was intended to be sold only as an ingredient for chemists making up prescriptions – if otherwise sold, the label suggests that the seller could be “liable to a penalty”. This is possibly because such extracts from the Damiana herb had been taken in South America since ancient times for their supposed aphrodisiac qualities. Here, the manufacturers C J Hewlett’s & Son suggest it can be used as a constituent of a mixture used to treat “nervous exhaustion”, “chronic alcoholism” and what they describe as “Brain fag” – a phrase once used to describe mental fatigue.

Object number:

A675653

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Glossary:

Glossary: bottle

Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations