An aging poet praises all those healing tubes of goo

Got an iPhone? “We have an app for that.” Have neuritis and neuralgia, all those aches and pains of age? “We have some goop for that.”

Ad Card for cure-all.
"Ad Card" promoting an 1880s cure-all marketed in Germany and the U.S. (Image in the public domain)

In Praise of Soothing Stuff

I put lotion on my fingers and smear ointment on my feet;
I slather serums on my face, that wrinkles may retreat.
There’s potions that stop sunburn, Tiger Balm for aches & pains,
And Preparation H to soothe those throbbing hidden veins . . .


* Above illustration: An advertising card for an 1880s cure-all known as St. Jacob’s oil. According to a note curated and © by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc., it was “Spuriously advertised as prepared by German monks from the Black Forest, this panacea for rheumatism, sciatica, and other painful conditions was distributed by suppliers in Maryland, Ohio, and New York.”

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