Patent medicines reached out to a populace with little faith in, or access to, medical doctors. Manufacturers generally leaned on heavy doses of alcohol and great advertising to move their products, which often promised to cure just about anything a patient could have. Promoters of these cure-alls favored personal testimonials that gave weight to their medicine’s powers. Many of the medicines also relied on an association with Native Americans.
Despite the cultural bias of the times, there did seem to be widespread respect for the centuries of medical wisdom that Native Americans had accumulated. Makers of patent medicine tried to establish a link to their potion and secret Indian recipes to give credibility to their concoctions.
Here are some popular patent medicines that linked themselves to Native Americans:
1. Indian Restorative Bitters.
2. Chief Wahoo Electric Tonic
3. Alacaster’s Indian Vegetable Jaundice Bitters
4. Goff’s Indian Vegetable Cough Syrup
5. Clements Indian Tonic
6. Dr. Morse’s Indian Root Pills