Suffering from pimples, lowness of spirits or leprosy? You need Dr Solander’s Vegetable Syrup!
For the SCURVY, &c. Dr. SOLANDER’s VEGETABLE SYRUP stands recommended to the Public on the test of long and extensive experience in all disorders arising from Scurvy or Scrofula, and in all acrimony or impurities of the blood, from what complicated causes soever they may originate; and whether joined to nervous complaints, lowness of spirits, decay of nature, or accidental contagion:—in cutaneous eruptions, blotches, pimples, or scorbutic roughness of the skin, (particularly prevalent at the return of Spring) this Medicine is eminently successful; in consequence of its antiscorbutic qualities, it restores the appetite, promotes digestion, and strengthens the whole constitution. Lastly, in the most desperate cases, where MINERALS have been ineffectual, in the most universal leprosy, and in the most dreadful CANCERS, an adherance to the Vegetable Syrup has produced complete cures, of which the Proprietor can satisfy the enquirer by respectable testimony. Sold only at the Sunday Gazette Office, Brydges-street, Covent-Garden, in bottles at 10s. 6d. or 5. 3d. each, exclusive of the Stamps.
Dr Daniel Solander was a botanist who accompanied Cook on his first voyage to New Zealand on the Endeavour. Scurvy would certainly have been a problem and it was not widely known then that it was caused by a deficiency in Vitamin C, although Cook had no deaths from it on his ship and tried various measures recommended by the admiralty, including the consumption of malt. But there is no proof that the remedy above was anything to do with Solander, nor indeed the vegetable tea and vegetable juice equally advertised using his name. While it is also not clear what the ingredients were, they were unlikely to have been fresh enough to have antiscorbutic properties, and would certainly have had no effect against leprosy or cancer. There’s also no mention of the size of the bottles, although at a time when the wages of a domestic servant were only £3 or £4 a year, 10 shillings seems excessive – even for such a medicine with so many wonderful properties!