Skin creams and salves

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Worcester Iodized Salt

Cover, Worcester Iodized
Salt Pamphlet.
I got my hands on  lovely little pamphlet enumerating the various benefits of "iodin" in salt. Iodization of salt began in the United States in 1924, for the purpose of eliminating goiter. I applaud the efforts of the powers-that-be(was) at the time for actually attempting to fortify foodstuffs with an element so vital for health. There were and are problems with salt iodization, however, and those problems are delineated in Lynne Farrow's excellent article:

Iodized salt is NOT a good source of iodine. The beautiful thing about the salt iodization program, though, is that it spread the knowledge of the benefits of iodine far and wide, and the benefits discussed went beyond the necessity of iodine in treating simple goiter. The claims for iodine in this pamphlet are generalized. Children are more likely to be "good natured". "iodin" will give you a quicker mind! These pamphlets found their way into the hands of the wives and mothers of the day as women were responsible for food preparation, marketing, etc...

From the pamphlet: "The reason table salt was chosen to carry the iodin is that salt reaches everyone, and therefore everyone is sure to get iodin regularly in just the right tiny safe amount." Wonderful intentions, really. I'm not sure exactly where the "tiny safe amount" sentiment comes into play. Iodine was regularly prescribed in milligram dosages(even gram amounts, in the form of KI) prior to the turn of the century.

Back Cover, Worcester Iodized Salt
"Prevents Simple Goiter" was the most commonly used advertising phrase of the day, in reference to iodized salt. Goiter was prevalent in areas with iodine deficient soil. The upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions were once known as the “Goiter Belt” because of the prevalence of enlarged thyroid glands that gave the afflicted visibly swollen necks. The goiter problem was widely noted during World War I when Army physicians recognized the condition in recruits.

 The iodization of salt is taken for granted now. It's taken for granted to the point that many people assume that A) That's where we get our iodine, B) that the iodine in salt is plenty, and C) that salt is where iodine comes from. Joke! I've never heard that one. I would not be surprised though. *sigh*

Some absolutely delightful unsubstantiated claims from the pamphlet I use the term "unsubstantiated" because no studies are referenced although there are a few quotes from doctors of the day elsewhere in the pamphlet. Some of this was also common knowledge :

What I really love about this pamphlet though is that there are quotes from well-known doctors of the day! Doctors that I have posted writings from :) From A. Judson Quimby:

And Dr. Arnold Lorand:

Front of Worcester Iodized Salt pamphlet

Back of Worcester Iodized Salt Pamphlet
Iodization pamphlet contained within this lovely little salt booklet

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Iodized Cigarettes.

Camel cigarette ad, 1935 McCall's magazine

Yep. Iodized Cigarettes and Cigars. Experimentation with inhalation of vapors of iodine was very common in the 1800s. Various means of inhalation are documented, by means of special apparatuses developed especially for that purpose, placing iodine crystals on a heated plate,  pastilles to burn... and yes, iodized cigarettes and cigars.

The most recent example of an iodized cigarette I can find is "Drakes Iodized Cigarettes", circa WWII. 
Drake Iodized cigarettes were manufactured between 1946 and 1959. The pack that I bought was manufactured in 1946, according to the gentleman that I bought it from. This apparently is of importance to collectors of all things tobacco, not so important to me, a collector of all things iodine.

Drake Cigarettes were marketed as being healthful based on the fact that nicotine constricts the capillaries  and iodine expands the capillaries. Whether or not the potassium iodide in these cigarettes counteracted other deleterious effects of smoking tobacco will never be known.

Drake Iodized Cigarettes, front
Drake Iodized Cigarettes, back
 The history of iodizing tobacco or herbs goes back further than the forties.  The following is from The Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal, 1852: link


On Iodized Cigars. — It has been suggested by Kletzinsky that the iodized cigars introduced by Chartroule and Bertow might be advantageously used more generally in medicine. He finds—
1. That a sufficient quantity of iodine may be found in a cigar which, after being iodized, has been lying exposed for four days in a warm room. (We may observe that the process of iodizing consists in lightly washing a cigar with an alcoholic solution of iodine, or in exposing it for a few minutes, in a closed box or vessel, to the simultaneous action of iodine vapour and steam.)
2. The greater part of the iodine which has been taken up is found in the ash as iodide of  calcium and magnesium.
3. The smoke, after being passed through  wool to retain any particles of ash, and then through a neutral solution of starch, did not give rise to the slightest blue coloration, even after the neutralization of the carbonate of ammonia contained in the smoke, with acetic acid. On the addition, however, of chlorine water or nitric acid, a blue tint was evolved, showing that there was a little iodide of ammonium, although no free iodine, in the smoke.
4. After a few puffs, the saliva aud buccal mucus gave distinct, although slight, traces of combined iodine.
5. After smoking an iodized cigar, iodine could generally be detected in half an hour, and often earlier, in the urine.—Kletzinsky in Wien. Med. Wochenici No. 39, 1851.

I found a reference to smoking iodized cigars in popular literature of the day, specifically in a work of fiction, "The Round of Wrong, A Romance of To-day", by Edmond About, published in 1843. link

The pure weather, however, did not weary Germaine: it cured her slowly. M. Le Bris watched this miracle of the blue sky : he looked on while nature was acting, and followed with passionate interest the gradual progress of a power superior to his own. He was too modest to claim the honour of the cure, and confessed in good faith that the only infallible medicine is that coming from on High.
Still, in order to deserve the aid of Heaven, he himself aided it a little. He had received from Paris Dr. Chartroul’s iodometer, with a stock of iodized cigarettes. These cigarettes, composed of aromatic herbs and soothing plants infused in a tincture of iodine, introduce the medicament into the lungs, accustom those most delicate organs to the presence of a foreign body, and prepare the patient to inhale pure iodine through the tubes of the apparatus. 

The treatment was successful. So successful, in fact, that Germaine decides that her doctor is being to cautious with the dosage...

And yes, this wanton act of iodine delerium throws her into a health crisis. She is at death's door for some time and then is miraculously, completely, unequivocally, HEALED.

Here we have a recipe for "Hirtz's Antiasthmatic Cigarettes". Source: The American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, 1909. link

Hirtz's Antiasthmatic Cigarettes.—F. H.—These may be made according to the following formula:

Extract of stramonium 5 parts
Diluted alcohol „. 50 parts
Tobacco leaves 100 parts
Potassium iodide 5 parts
Potassium nitrate 5 parts

Dissolve the potassium salts in the diluted alcohol, incorporate the stramonium extract, moisten the stramonium and tobacco leaves with the liquid and roll into one hundred cigarettes in paper covers, using the rice paper ordinarily used for this purpose. Another form of aromatic cigarette sometimes spoken of as antiasthmatic cigarette is made by dissolving potassium nitrate in six times its own weight of water, impregnating filter paper with this solution and making cigarettes, from this paper. This formula is sometimes varied by impregnating the leaves of balm, of sage or anise seed with the solution of nitrate, drying and making this up into cigarettes, using the nitrated filter paper as a wrapper.

A patent for medicated tobacco granted in 1931 link


This invention relates to medicated tobacco and process of making the same, and it comprises more specifically the treatment of smoking tobacco for pipes, cigarettes or cigars with iodine, whereby the iodine may be effectively administered in the small amounts necessary for body metabolism and for the treatment of various infections of the respiratory organs, as well as thyroid disease, blood and glandular diseases, and numerous others.

Iodine has long been recognized not only as a powerful antiseptic, but also as having great eificacy in the treatment of numerous diseases. Tobacco lends itself extremely well as a vehicle for the administration of iodine to the human body, since, because of its heat in burning, the iodine which it carries is volatilized, and in its volatilized condition is inhaled.

In accordance with my invention, pure iodine crystals are heated in aclosed chamher to a temperature of from 110 C. to 120 C., this temperature being sufficiently high to practically completely vaporize the iodine. The pure iodine vapor is then conducted to an air tight chamber containing the tobacco, which has been previously prepared by any well known method for use in pipes, cigarettes or cigars. The temperature of this second chamber is maintained at, or slightly below, room temperature (approximately 70 F.), thus permitting the iodine vapor to return to a crystal state, and in such state to be deposited upon the tobacco. After an exposure of from twenty-four to seventy-two hours the tobacco, now containing the iodine, is removed from the treating chamber and the iodine content determined by the iodine starch test. The treated tobacco is then blended with untreated tobacco until the desired blend and iodine content is obtained.

An alternative process consists in immersing the tobacco ina pure grain alcohol solution, which contains 25% iodine and 15% potassium iodide. The tobacco is allowed to remain in this solution for from twenty-four to seventy-two hours at slightly below room temperature, that is, somewhat under 70 F.

Application filed April 12,

1929. Serial No. 354,708.

At the end of this time the excess solution is drained off and the tobacco is dried for several days at a temperature low enough to prevent volatilization of the iodine which is intimately associated with it in crystalline form. The alcohol is, thus, completely evaporated, leavin the iodine deposited in the tobacco. As 1n the process first described, the iodine content is next determined by the iodine starch test and the treated tobacco is then blended with untreated tobacco to obtain the desired blend and percentage of iodine.

Having described my invention, what I claim is: i.

1. The process of medicating tobacco with iodine which consists in first converting iodine to a fluid state and, in such state, bringing it into contact with tobacco to be treated, and finally in crystallizing the iodine while in contact with the tobacco to thereby intimately associate it therewith.

2. The process of medicating tobacco with iodine, which consists in first volatilizing iodine crystals by heat to convert the iodine into vapors, an finally, in the presence of tobacco to be treated, re-crystallizing the iodine by reducing the temperature of its vapors, to deposit it upon the tobacco and thereby medicate it.

3. The process of medicating tobacco with iodine, which consists in heating iodine crystals in a closed chamber to the point of volatilization of the iodine, conveying the vapors so produced to a second chamber containing tobacco to be treated, and maintaining the contact of iodine and tobacco in said second chamber for from twenty-four to seventy-two hours at a lower temperature, thereby to cause re-crystallizationof the iodine.

 4. The process of medicating tobacco with iodine, which consists in preparing a solution of pure grain alcohol and iodine, soaking tobacco in such solution at slightly below room temperature, draining off the excess of the solution, and finally drying the treated tobacco at slightly below room temperature to prevent volatilization of its iodine content.

back to Drake. Images from a leaflet to doctors on Drake Iodized Cigarettes. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Dr. H.A. Goden's Practical Observations from Hufeland's Prat. Heilekunde

Tincture of Iodine.

The author, never having had an opportunity of using iodine in that disease in which it has been so efficacious, goitre being extremely rare in that part of the country he inhabits, but being fully convinced of its powerful action upon the glandular system, he prescribed it in highly diseased states of that system with prudence and effect.

The medicine was exhibited in four cases of complete scrofula in subjects from six to twelve years of age; in all of whom there were evident symptoms of disease as early as their second and third years. The face was swollen and oedematous, abdomen enlarged and hard; the mesenteric glands were evidently increased in size, the glands of the neck hard and swollen; and in various parts of the body, but particularly upon the inner side of the legs, there was a moist, impetiginous, scrofulous eruption, which formed an acid fluid of so caustic a nature, that it inflamed and excoriated the parts liable to come in contact with it. In all these cases there was tinea capitis exedens, and in one the impetiginous eruption was situated on the right side of the face, extending from the eyelids to the under part of the chin; but in the three others, it occupied the inner side of either lower extremity, and the parts of generation. The most serious and troublesome symptom to contend with, was a severe scrofulous inflammation of both eyes; this was particularly distressing in the case of the girl of twelve years of age. Both her eyes had been almost entirely closed for three years; the conjunctiva and sclerotica membranes were greatly inflamed and very painful, and the eye-balls were so constantly covered all over with a puriform acrid lymph, that they could scarcely be seen, particularly of a morning, when the lymph was so abundant that the orbits appeared entirely filled with it. The eye-lids were generally sealed together; corrosive tears were continually flowing from the eyes; and the intolerance of light was so great, that the patient could not suffer it without the most distressing complaints. A physician, the author's predecessor, despaired of a cure, and pronounced the inevitable loss of both eyes. In this case, the eye-lids were hard, and swollen to the size of a pigeon's egg, and the eruption occupied the face and other parts of the body. During the long development and continuance of this disease, all the usual anti-scrofulous remedies were perseveringly used for months together, without any other results than partial and temporary amelioration of the disease, which invariably broke out with renewed vigour during the exhibition of the very same medicines, that appeared a little before to have opposed a barrier to its further progress. The muriate of barytes, aethiops, calomel and cicuta, acetated kali with the saponaceous extracts and the tincture of rhubarb, acorn coffee and violet tea for common drink, cinchona and the extract of madder, aromatic baths, and malt baths, were all tried with little or no advantage. Ointments of red precipitate and opium, of the white oxyd of zinc; eye waters of the muriate of mercury, and with opium, belladona and stramonium, were used conjointly with setons and perpetual blisters, but all without improving the state of the eyes. An ungtient of rose ointment and white oxyd of zinc checked for a time the eruption, and diminished its acrimonious discharge.
illustration from Oculus Artificialis
Teledioptricus Sive Telescopium

Under these unfavourable circumstances, all the best and most active remedies havingor only temporarily relieved, the author concluded to try the effect of the tincture of iodine, which, on foreign report, he had learnt, had been so useful in diseases of the glandular system. All medicines, except the white precipitate ointment for the eyes, were laid aside; and five drops of the tincture of iodine in barley or sugar water were given twice a day. The dose was increased one drop every two days until it amounted to ten drops, which quantity was administered regularly without further increase. No unpleasant symptoms arose from the use of the iodine, except that the appetite and digestion became impaired; the bowels were occasionally too much bound or too loose, and there was a flatulent swelling of the abdomen. Whether these symptoms were accidental, or the effects of the iodine, cannot be determined; but they were relieved by an infusion of quassia with cinnamon and the elix. Aurantior, comp. The beneficial action of iodine was most striking and rapid in this case, for by the fourteenth day there was a general and evident improvement in the state of the patient; the inflammation of the eyes had diminished much; the puriform discharge from them was less, milder and thicker; the patient could now look at the light without suffering the previous intolerable pain and plentiful effusion of tears; the rolling of the palpebrx had disappeared; the cutaneous eruption was considerably better, and the general habit of body was greatly improved. In four weeks from the beginning of this course of medicine, the change for the better was very great; at this time the ophthalmia and the puriform discharge were no longer present, the eyes were a little weak, and the lids were slightly disposed to agglutination during sleep; these symptoms yielded to a collyrium of rose water and tincture of opium. The iodine was continued in doses of ten drops twice every third day for four weeks longer, when its use was suspended, there being no longer any traces of scrofula. In order to invigorate the constitution, and destroy all tendency to the disease, an infusion of cinchona, with extracts of cinchona, (prepared without heat,) madder, and acetate of potash, was prescribed, and continued for some months. At first, the infusion was taken every second or third day, in the dose of three tablespoonfuls; but at a later period, it was taken in the same quantity about once a week.  With the same view of strengthening the system, the patient was directed to take twelve baths, prepared with Rad. Calami. Baccae and Herb. Juniper, Herb. Sabinx, and afterwards twelve of malt. By these means, a complete and radical cure was effected, and the patient is now (eighteen months since the suspension of all medicines) a strong, fresh and blooming girl.

In the other three cases, the scrofulous diathesis was equally developed, and had produced the same diseased appearances as in the case already described; and in these also, the usual remedies had been used for years without effect, but they were radically cured by the tincture of iodine, which, on account of the youth of the subjects, was at first given in doses of two drops twice a day, and increased one drop a dose every second day till eight drops were taken twice a day. In none of these cases did the author perceive any bad effects from the iodine; they were all cured in a space of from six to ten weeks.
Establishing his opinion upon the success of iodine in the four cases above, the author concludes that it is the most effectual and certain remedy in confirmed and fully developed scrofula, which we know of, particularly when the eyes are much inflamed, and the glandular system greatly diseased. In cases of more partial and recent scrofula, the usual remedies are alone sufficient, and indeed preferable to the iodine; but when the eyes, the skin, and the glands, are diseased, it is particularly indicated.

illustration from Oculus Artificialis Teledioptricus Sive Telescopium
Johann Zahn's illustrations just thrown in there because they're really cool.

text source: The Medical Recorder: Of Original Papers and Intelligence in Medicine and Surgery, 1826