Opium Soaked Tampons Were the Midol of Ancient Rome | Atlas Obscura

Medicinal use of opium was widespread in the United States by the latter half of the 19th century. (Photo: Public Domain/Wikipedia Commons)

On display at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum is an item that you won’t find in the women’s aisle of your local drugstore today. Among pharmaceutical oddities such as leeches and tinctures, the museum houses a box of early tampons soaked in opium and belladonna.

What’s more, these products were in fact prescribed to women back in the 19th century. “The opium was to relieve pain, and the belladonna was to dilate and relax the vagina,” Elizabeth Sherman, the museum’s executive director, tells The Guardian.

The tradition of lacing women’s products with opiates goes back even further than that, though. In fact, since…

Source: Opium Soaked Tampons Were the Midol of Ancient Rome | Atlas Obscura

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