Pharmacy : Chemicals, Medicines, and Cures From A to M
Object ID Number:
Object Name:
Oil of Chenopodium
Gelatin CapsulesOil of Chenopodium
Parke, Davis & Co. , Detroit, MI
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Description / History:
Oil of chenopodium gelatin capsules. box of 100 capsules. 6 capsules remaining in box. Manufactured by Parke, Davis and Co. Dosage of capsules is 5 minims and are for children. Detailed directions are printed on the back of the box with dosages recommended for various age groups.

Oil of chenopodium, in the form of geletin capsules, first appeared in advertisements in 1919.

Used to treat hookworms and roundworms, oil of chenooedium works by paralyzing the parasites. Then a purgative is given to rid the patient of parasites. The directions on the box recommends a purgative of epsom salts one half hour after taking the medication.

During most of the 19th century and well into the 20th century, oil of chenopodium, extracted from the seeds of the wormseed plant, was used as an effective treatment for parasites. However, by the mid 20th century it was no longer recommended by doctors because of its side effects and toxicity. Side effects included nausea, light headedness and paralysis as well as occasional death and the inducement of abortion. As late as 1996, an overdose of oil of chenopodium was the cause of death for a 3 year old child that died when it was prescribed by an herbal healer.

Today, herbal healers continue to use oil of chenopodium for the treatment of parasites as well as many other illnesses including respiratory ailments and digestive disorders. However, because of the side effects, physicians no longer prescribe it.

Wormseed is native to Mexico and South America and brought to North America by Native Americans who trained the European settlers in its use. It was then grown commercially in Maryland in the 19th century to provide a supply to pharmaceutical companies.

Minims is a unit of measure implemented in 1809 for liquids that needed a very precise measurement. 1 minim is equivalent to about 1 drop. This unit of measure was deemed obsolete by 1954.
H–4.5 W–3.5 D–1 inches
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