Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mustard... for all that ails you

For centuries people used to seek relief from colds and coughs by using mustard plaster home remedies. For those who don’t know, mustard plasters was basically a paste created by mixing mustard, flour and warm water. The paste would then be quickly spread across a piece of cloth and then laid over the face of the sick individual. Mustard paste would be on par with using that yellow mustard sauce from Chinese restaurants… I can see how it would clear the sinuses. As with most remedies, it became a ridiculous catch-all for other ailments. After Lincoln was mortally wounded by an assassin’s bullet, one of the first things doctors did was to apply mustard plasters.

Musterole was originally developed in 1905 by Cleveland pharmacist A. L. McLaren to relieve chest congestion, coughs and muscle aches. It became extremely popular following World War I as an alternative to the messy mustard plaster remedy.

Through a series of purchases and mergers, the Musterole Co. eventually ended up as an asset of Schering-Plough. It doesn’t appear that Musterole is produced any longer.

Here's a 1971 commercial for Musterole that I just uncovered. Love the hypnotic chanting...

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