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February 28, 1903


Author Affiliations

Medical Superintendent of the Craig Colony for Epileptics, Secretary of the National Association for the Study of Epilepsy and the Care and Treatment of Epileptics. SONYEA, N. Y.

JAMA. 1903;XL(9):569-571. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490090017001g

Nerve nostrums and their dangers constitute a subject far too comprehensive for full discussion in the brief time at our disposal, and we will omit the presentations of facts that aim to show what a race of nostrum makers and nostrum takers the American people are coming to be, and take up other matters connected with the subject that should engage our undivided attention, and which are as follows:

1. Why do people take nerve nostrums; or, indeed, nostrums of any kind?

2. Wherein does the use of nerve nostrums tend to impair the public health?

3. What measures, if any, can we take to lessen or destroy the nostrum-taking habit?

Longfellow plainly expressed a lack of faith in, if not contempt for, nostrums when he wrote

Purge with your nostrums and drugs infernal

The spouts and gargoyles of these towers; not me;

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