Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Burdock Blood Bitters" quack disease medication's biblical advertising shape poetry (1884)

A tree that bore forbidden fruit, so the story goes,

brought pain and death into the world and all of mortal woes.

There stood a tree of life and death within a garden fair,

and pain and sorrow never came till Satan entered there,

and tempted Eve and Adam to eat of forbidden fruit,

and from the seed more evil trees have grown and taken root.

The sins of our first parents upon us their children fall,

there's Scrofula and Blood impure, we cannot name them all.

The poison Upas tree, Consumption, is deep-rooted far and wide,

and from many dire diseases have the sons of Adam died.

Is there no balm in Gilead? no antidote at hand,

to heal a poisoned nation? Yes—we have one at command.

The trees of life are living still for the invalid's salvation.

We are told "the leaves shall be for the healing of the nation."

Around us near on every hand Some humble herb is found.

On trees—barks, roots and berries, of rare healing worth abound.

The little plant which we despise, called burdock is a cure

for Scrofula and Humors foul, and blood that is impure,

and when in Burdock Blood Bitters, with many a root and bark,

it makes a shot against disease that always hits the mark.

Burdock Blood Bitters, a purely vegetable extract cures all diseases of the blood, liver and kidneys.

Troy Daily Times. February 12, 1884: 1 col 1. (Image cropped from scan by

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