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November 29, 1930


JAMA. 1930;95(22):1672-1673. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720220042012

Within the past year a peculiar form of paralysis has afflicted many persons, particularly throughout some of the Midwestern or Southwestern states. Government experts have asserted confidently that the numbers of the patients run into the thousands, thus exhibiting what may reasonably be termed epidemic proportions. Evidence has rapidly accumulated indicating that the unique malady is closely associated with the drinking of fluidextract of ginger. The latter has been sold extensively for many years, since the introduction of the Volstead Act, for beverage purposes, because of a ruling of the Prohibition Bureau to the effect that the official fluidextract of ginger is a nonpotable beverage, thus removing the restriction from its sale. The disease that has come to be designated as "ginger paralysis" could scarcely have been caused by the familiar U. S. P. fluidextract; otherwise the morbidity would have been much greater and the incidence of the paralysis far

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