Our grandparents were force-fed laxatives to cure a cold

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Whenever you start to feel like it might have been better to live in a different era, realize that your parents and grandparents got a laxative when they got a cough.

Check out this 1923 ad.

1932 ad, Buffalo Courier-Express

Move little bowels with this harmless laxative.

Whatever else you give your child to relieve a bad cold, sore throat or congestion, be sure to first open the little one’s bowels with “California Fig Syrup” to get rid of the poisons and waste which are causing the cold and congestion. In a few hours, you can see for yourself how thoroughly it works the constipation poison, sour bile and waste right out.

Yikes.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.