EDITOR’S NOTE: John Uri Lloyd (1849-1936) founded Lloyd Brothers Pharmacy in Cincinnati, and was responsible for the formulation of a body of plant extracts called Specific Medicines (following the recommendations of Scudder). The pharmacy closed in the early 1960’s, but his legacy is still present as the Lloyd Library, (the largest library of medical plant books in the world), the Lloyd Extractor, his pioneering work in colloidal chemistry, and several bestselling works of fiction, including “Stringtown on the Pike and the mystical “Etidorhpa”.
He began as a raw apprentice in 1862 to W.J.M.Gordon in Cincinnati. When he finished the apprenticeship (a three or four-year stint), he re-apprenticed with ANOTHER pharmacist, George Eger, in order to learn German pharmacy . By the time he met up with two famous medical radicals, Dr. John King and Dr. J.M.Scudder, he was so expert at PHYSICAL pharmacy that, now in his late 20’s, he was offered the position as the director of the H.M.Merrell and Co. Laboratories, at that time the primary manufacturer for both Eclectic and Physio- Medical pharmaceuticals. He and his ill-fated brother (the premier mycologist of the age) eventually bought out Merrill...and Lloyd Brothers was begun.
The three editions of Elixir Formulæ were written to attempt codification of a wildly chaotic...and dangerous state of affairs in American Medicine. They became THE standards for 15 years...and helped lead the way for the first National Formulary of 1888. Because of his alliance with medical radicals (“the Loyal Opposition”) he was blacklisted from the first N.F. congress, locked out by hardliners in the American Pharmaceutical Association. Since the whole thing was his brainchild, and he was de-facto editor of the first N.F., the uproar amongst REAL pharmacists was so great (they ALL used his book) that the old guard was promptly booted out and he was elected for the first time as President of A.P.A. Shunned again ten years later (again for his association with the “Enemies of Medicine”), the rank-and-file AGAIN re-elected him president. EIGHT times in 45 years the attempt was made to kick him out as a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association...all attempts soundly failed, since he was the most famous supporter of the working pharmacist...a grass-roots druggist whose soda- fountain recipes were famous.
The culmination of his work (in my opinion) was the Third Revision of “King’s American Dispensatory” in 1898, 2200 pages of the best PLANT Pharmacy ever assembled. For the last 20 years of his life, he expended his near- mythic reputation in pharmacy writing curmudgeonly emeriti-type articles in Pharmaceutical journals in futile attempts to draw his fellow pharmacists away from chemical reductionism and back into viewing plants as entities, not sources of drug compounds. That he was twice elected president of the American Pharmaceutical Association is a stunning tribute to his stature, since he was an infamous gadfly and “irregular”, always proudly flaunting his lack of formal education, devotion to plant medicines, and Eclectic roots, mostly moribund issues in his later years, since “regular” medicine had clearly prevailed. This was the equivalent of Dr. Andrew Weill being appointed Surgeon General or Adelle Davis being elected President of the American Medical Association.
Radical though he was, he was still a MAN of his times, and should be forgiven his failure to acknowledge the existence of TWO genders in pharmacy
He was perhaps the only true American alchemist. Michael Moore
WERE pharmacists united in opposition to elixirs, and sufficiently independent to warrant them in saying that they are unnecessary preparations, and that they would not manufacture or dispense them; or could pharmacists so influence and control physicians as to positively prevent them from prescribing elixirs; or were the past numbers of all our pharmaceutical journals possessed by, or readily accessible to, each and every pharmacist in the country— there would then be no necessity for, nor utility in, the publication of a work upon elixirs and the methods of preparing them. At the present time there undoubtedly exists a demand for this class of preparations, and, in order to improve, as well as retain, their legitimate trade, our pharmacists are, in a measure, compelled to dispense them, as they do not desire to displease their medical patrons by any indications of what might be considered as offensive dictation. Such being the case, and as a large number of the pharmacists of this country are not possessors of the past numbers of pharmaceutical journals, we have been induced to prepare this little work.
In presenting these formulæ, the result of years of actual laboratory experience, and the careful study of the back numbers of all our pharmaceutical journals, we cannot doubt that they will be valuable to pharmacists, and that the investment will quickly return to each purchaser more than the outlay for the book.
Upon this question of elixirs we find our American pharmacists greatly divided: some decidedly object to them, no matter under what considerations or circumstances, and obstinately refuse to listen to a favorable word for any one of them; others uphold that carefully prepared elixirs, in which the disagreeableness and offensiveness of certain drugs entering into their composition are more or less masked, are to be commended. Not infrequently the opponents of elixirs are quite violent in their denunciation of them, and more especially as being of too complex a character; and yet these very objectors will favor other mixtures and preparations that are still more complex, and fully as unscientific as the majority of compound elixirs. On the other hand, the advocates of elixirs frequently associate incompatibles in their preparations, thereby rendering them valueless.
By this course they weaken the cause they are endeavoring to sustain, as the articles they present to the public prove to be unreliable. In our opinion, there is an intermedium, a conservative position, between those who unreservedly condemn and those who indiscriminately recommend, and it will be found that there are many excellent pharmacists occupying this position who argue that, with judgment in selection and skill in manipulation, a line of elixirs may be produced that will favorably compare with the products of other sections of pharmacy, and that in their preparation as much science and competency may be displayed as in making other classes of pharmaceuticals.
In the present work we have endeavored to point out defects, as well as incompatible combinations; and though at first glance the impression may be conveyed that we entertain a positive hostility to elixirs, yet, as it must be admitted by every one that there is considerable room for friendly pruning, we trust that our remarks will be received in the same kind spirit as that in which they are made, and that we will not be reproached for being unnecessarily censorious. And notwithstanding that our criticisms may appear to be severe, we believe them to be fair and unprejudiced, and of such a character that both the advocate and the opponent of " American Elixirs " may derive both satisfaction and benefit from their perusal.
J. U. L.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
WITHIN three months from the appearance of the first edition of this book, the publishers have notified us that a second is demanded. This encourages us to believe that our work is not wholly unappreciated. We issued the first edition with misgivings. We feared that the class of preparations embraced under the name elixir would not prove sufficiently interesting and valuable to warrant the publication of a work devoted exclusively to this subject. Then, too, various problems arose when we attempted to untangle the intricate elixir history, to reconcile incompatibles, to criticize judiciously, and to prevent our prejudices from occasionally influencing our remarks. These and other points rendered our labor by no means pleasant. However, the favor with which the first edition has been received, and the many words of approval regarding it, lead us to believe that our
labor has not been lost. We cordially invite pharmacists to notify us of any troublesome formula in this book, to correspond with us concerning elixirs in local use, if omitted by it, and to advise us of any historical oversight.
J. U. L.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD REVISED EDITION.
As two former revisions of this little work have each been honored with a call for several editions, and as there is at the same time a palpable decrease in the sale of trade elixirs, there seems to be ample room for the conclusion that preparations of this class are passing from the hands of manufacturing chemists into those of the pharmacists themselves. This fact, notwithstanding an admitted decrease in the consumption of elixirs, will suffice to account for a third revision. The addition of about thirty new formulæ brings the total of the present edition to two hundred and seventy one; and, with the benefit of experience, many of the older formulæ have been modified and improved. Thanks to the cordial interest with which it has been favored by the profession, and friendly correspondence received from many of its members, we are enabled to present with each revision many valuable alterations in the processes. We desire at once to thank them heartily, and to beg them to show a continued interest in the same friendly way.
J. U. L..........CINCINNATI, November 10th, 1891.