08 March 2019

8th March 1918 - Phosferine - A Proven Remedy for Brain-Fag


An advert for Phosferine in the Liverpool Echo on 8th March 1918 included a recommendation from a war hero...

Ex-Sergeant Sims from the British Expeditionary Force says that after the first three months in the Trenches he began to get bad nerves, so he sent home for Phosferine, after seeing an advertisement, and since then had a bottle sent out practically every parcel, and began to get back to his old self. He went through the Battles of Neuve Chapeile, March, 1915, Festubert, May 9, 1915, and the Somme 1916, and says 'this speaks well for the wonderful medicine. You can guess what one's nerves get like after going through such terrible Bombardment as we had the above Battles. I was awarded the Military Medal for carrying messages through a heavy Barrage and Machine-Gun Fire, and only attribute the good luck through my nerves being a good state thanks to Phosferine.'

Phosferine was a tonic, a cure-all, aimed at disorders of the nervous system including: Nervous Debility, Sleeplessnes, Exhaustion, Neuralgia, Maternity Weakness, Premature Decay, Lassitute, Faintness, Brain-Fag, and Hysteria.

The British Medical Journal had already analysed Phosferine in 1911 and found it to be mainly water, alcohol, quinine and phosphoric acid, with a bit of sulphuric acid. The ingredients for a 2s 9d bottle cost 1/2d.

Thankyou to British Newspaper Archive for the advert.

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