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"It Will Do You Good"- E. E. Flagg's Japanese Pain Reliever
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Patent medicines were produced and sold in England as early as the 1630s, and began to be advertised for sale in the American colonies in the 18th century. At that time, home remedies derived from folk tradition, herbals, or books of recipes often took the place of a doctor's care. The availability of packaged medicines offered an easy alternative to compounding one's own remedy. The American patent medicine industry flourished during the 19th century as inexpensive treatments flooded the market. Products such as Flagg's Japanese Pain Relivo often promised to cure conditions as dissimilar as headaches, poison ivy, sprains, and frostbite. Outlandish claims, and poor results, led many of these products to be labeled quack medicines.
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