Cover image for Vol. 12 Issue 22

Editorial Board Chairs: Karl-Heinz Altmann, Antonello Mai, Rainer Metternich. Editor: David Peralta

Impact Factor: 3.225

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 17/60 (Chemistry Medicinal); 73/257 (Pharmacology & Pharmacy)

Online ISSN: 1860-7187

Associated Title(s): Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Chemistry - A European Journal, Chemistry – An Asian Journal, ChemBioChem, Medicinal Research Reviews, Molecular Informatics

April 08, 2013

Remedies of Old: What was in them, and were they effective?

Remedies of Old: What was in them, and were they effective?Modern drug discovery is heavily driven by efficacy and safety, but 100–200 years ago, the pharmaceutical industry was very different. Analyzing the Henry Ford Museum (Dearborn, MI, USA) collection of samples, Professor Mark Benvenuto (University of Detroit Mercy, USA) identified the elemental composition of various historical remedies, taking a step closer to understanding whether, for example, Dr. F. G. Johnson's French Female Pills were helpful, useless, or even harmful to the patients. Acknowledging that the next step is to identify the actual organic compounds or inorganic salts that the remedies contain, the use of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy in confirming the elements and their abundance in the samples has at least identified elements such as arsenic and lead that are commonly considered poisonous and those that typically have beneficial effects, such as calcium.

These results were presented at the 245th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans, LA, USA. The full press conference can be viewed here:

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