One of my recent blogs told of an estate sale where I found some very interesting medical tins. I just opened another box from that sale (so much for our super-duper inventory system) and discovered a brown glass bottle from Eli Lilly & Co., Indianapolis, Indiana. It still has a partial cork in it and from the label, address, etcetera, I can tell it is very old indeed.
It once held “fluid extract of Goat’s Rue”. (I had hoped to find one with Eye of Newt too, but no luck.) My first reaction was that this must have been used years ago, but would not be too attractive on a shelf at the local drug store today—but I stand corrected in my assumption, as I learned that this is still used and sold today. Goat’s Rue is a plant which is used along with conventional treatment for diabetes and as a diuretic. It also stimulates the adrenal glad and pancreas, protects the liver, and starts the flow of breast milk. Some folks use it as a tonic for blood purification.
I turned the bottle over to view the label and learn more about its uses in the past, which reads “tonic, nervine and diuretic” and is “much esteemed as a stimulant to the secretion of milk, for which it is chiefly used.” So, surprisingly enough, this may be a very old drug, but one that is still used today. I wonder how many people admit that they are taking a medication called “Goat’s Rue.” It just goes to show you that they knew what they were doing back “in the day” and much of it has been put to good use in today’s world as well.