Medicine in 1860s Victoria

Do-it-yourself Medicine

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Click for reference data Click for a larger image August 17, 1866


The medical and dental professionals were not the only means to better health for the citizens of 1860s Victoria. As today, there was a great trade in nonprescription medicines and alternative healing practices. Not everyone trusted doctor's methods or drugs, and not everyone had access to them. Fortunately for the Victorians, lifesaving pills, ointments, beverages and nostrums were readily available at the local drug store.

If advertisements like the one at the left are to be believed, nineteenth century drugs were nothing short of miraculous. Dr. Maggiel's Pills not only cured all manner of diseases, they actually restored one's youth. Such exaggerated claims were common in the sale of patent medicines. Most of the pills, ointments and bitters advertised for sale in Victoria made similar claims, each trying to outdo the other.

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