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Bottle of Huxley's 'Ner-Vigor', England, 1892-1943

Huxley’s ‘Ner-Vigor’ was sold as a strengthening tonic for the nerves and to improve digestion. Made by the Anglo-American Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, based in Croydon, the tonic was prescribed for clinical depression, neurasthenia, anaemia, rickets, and sciatica. It was suggested that a teaspoonful should be added to half a wine glass of water and drunk three times a day after meals. Like some other medical products of the period, it contains a very small measure of the highly dangerous poison strychnine. The makers of the tonic claimed that it received favourable reviews in the medical press.

Object number:

A640381

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Glossary:

Glossary: neurasthenia

No description.

Glossary: sciatica

Syndrome characterised by pain radiating from the back into the buttock and into the lower extremity the term is also used to refer to pain anywhere along the course of the sciatic nerve (the hip region).

Glossary: medicinal tonic

No description.

Glossary: anaemia

A shortage of haemoglobin (the pigment carrying oxygen in red blood cells). Symptoms include weakness, pale skin, breathlessness, faintness, palpitations, and lowered resistance to infection.

Glossary: rickets

A condition caused by a lack of vitamin D. Characterized by soft and deformed bones, which can lead to an increased number of injuries.

Glossary: depression

A mental state associated with acute sadness. Activity can be decreased, especially interaction with others, and sleep, appetite, and concentration can also be disturbed.