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February 12, 1910


JAMA. 1910;LIV(7):511-515. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550330001001c

Coming from those who had most to do with the conception and inauguration of the National Formulary and from those who have maintained it and are largely responsible for its present character, I confess all things, own all things demanded by truth, and from those who would unkindly criticize and condemn I ask the same tribute to truth, as it lays bare, in proper sequence, contemporary conditions that are exactly responsible for what the formulary has been and is to-day. In this generous, open frame of mind, we shall be able to reason harmoniously together.

"Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind worm's sting, Lizard's leg and owlet's wing."

While entirely fanciful and not a formula for the relief of trouble, this quotation illustrates the principle underlying the original compound prescription, its superstitious origin and haphazard ensemble little less

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