The Receipt Book of Mrs Ann Blencowe
Above: The title page of the book
Stephen Isitt collection

Written in 1694, the recipes (receipts) and medicinal remedies collected by Ann Blencowe remained in a private collection until their publication in 1925.
Born Ann Wallis in 1656, she married John Blencowe in 1675 - he became an MP, a judge, and was finally knighted in 1697. Ann died in 1718

Amongst the medicinal recipes is one for Horse Dunge water. 'Take horse dunge & putt to it so much Ale as will make it like hasty puding, and put it into your still. Then putt in ye topp one pound of treakell, and a quarter of a pound of ginger in powder, and a quarter of a pound of sweet aniseeds, and so distill all these together. This water is good for women in labor and in childbed, for Agues and feavers and all distempers.
The Receipt Book of Mrs Ann Blencowe, Guy Chapman, London 1925, p60
Above and below: Advertisements from Our Darlings, a children's book produced by John F Shaw and Co., London. The book is undated, but an inscription shows that it was given to a child in 1906.

Chlorodyne was a mixture of chloroform, ether, morphine, cannabis indica, and hydrocynanic acid.

Eno's Fruit Salt, which appears again further down the page, was first marketed by James Crossley Eno - he opened a pharmacy producing a sodium bicarbonate/citric acid mixture in 1852.

W. A. Campbell (June, 1966) James Crossley Eno and the Rise of the Health Salts Trade. University of Newcastle Upon Tyne Medical Gazette 60(3):350 Reprinted as an appendix to W. A. Campbell. The Analytical Chemist In Nineteenth Century English Social History Thesis presented for the degree of Master of Letters in the University of Durham. Newcastle upon Tyne July 1971

Eno's Fruit Salts can still be bought today

                                                      The doctor prescribes

Below are a selection of cards advertising various medicines. Dating from circa the 1940s, these would have been distributed to the medical profession.

All the above are from the Vanessa Griffith collection
Below: A page from the British Medical Journal, 1952. Euvalerol allegedly alleviated all the 'symptoms of apprehension, flushing, irritability and depression that darken the outlook of the woman at the menopause.'

Vanessa Griffith collection
                                                             Bach Remedies
'I want to make it as simple as this: I am hungry, I will go and pull a lettuce from the garden for my tea; I am frightened and ill, I will take a dose of Mimulus.'
Edward Bach

Edward Bach studied medicine at Birmingham and later at University College Hospital, London; as well as being a House Surgeon at UCHL he also worked privately in Harley Street. He had his own laboratories where he undertook research into vaccines.
When he qualified in 1912, Bach said that it would take him five years to forget all he had been taught. His main objection to conventional medicine was that it focused on individual diseases and did not treat the patient holistically.  'It was eighteen years before he finally turned his back on orthodox research, smashed the glassware in his laboratory, and left London.'

The Bach remedy system consists of 38 remedies, developed in the 1920s and 30s
The remedies are prepared either by floating flower heads in pure water in sunlight, or by boiling woodier plants in pure water (a method also used when sunlight is weak).
The water is then mixed with an equal quantity of brandy - the mother tincture. This tincture is further diluted into brandy to make the preparations sold in shops.
Each remedy is associated with a human emotion: eg anxiety, intolerance, envy, lack of confidence, guilt etc. Bach practitioners take into account both the personality of the person, and what they are feeling.

Above: A selection of Bach flower remedies.
Released under Creative Commons CCO via

A fascimile edition of The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies by Edward Bach is available here:

Opinion on the efficacy of the remedies (BFRs) is divided, with enthusiastic supporters and scornful opponents. A review of trials testing BFRs for psychological problems and pain reached the following conclusion: 'Our review demonstrates that the currently available evidence indicates that BFRs are not more efficacious than a placebo intervention for psychological problems but are probably safe. Due to a lack of methodologically sound trials, this statement is associated with a high level of uncertainty.'
Opponents would seize on the first statement, whilst adherents would point out the lack of methodologically sound trials.
Read the whole article here: