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

Opium Eating: The Lincolnshire Fens in the early nineteenth-century

All Things Georgian

Today’s blog is going to be a sad little tale of a family destroyed by opium in late Georgian England. It perhaps struck us so much because the family lived not in an inner city slum but instead in the flat and open agricultural landscape of the Lincolnshire Fens, a marshland close to the Wash, an estuary on the eastern coastline of England.

We’ll turn first to a newspaper report on the inquest of a child belonging to this family, poor little Rebecca Eason who was actually younger than mentioned; she had not yet reached her fifth birthday.

An inquest was held at Whaplode on the 21st inst., by Samuel Edwards, Gent. coroner, on view of the body of Rebecca Eason, a child aged 5 years, who had been diseased from its birth and was unable to walk or to articulate, and from its size did not…

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A Month of: This Day in History

Louise M. H. Miller; Around The Red Map.

On this day in 1839 in Humen, China, Chinese scholar and official of the Qing dynasty, Lin Tse-hsü destroys 1.2 million kg of opium which had been confiscated from British merchants. Lin forcefully opposed the opium trade on economic, social and moral grounds. The destruction of the opium stores is seen as the primary catalyst for the First Opium War of 1839-42; as it provided the British with a casus belli to open hostilities with the Chinese over their conflicting viewpoints on diplomatic relations, trade and the administration of justice for foreign nationals.



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