Gustav Imlauer: Ihr zu Füßen! 

Dr James Wilkins Haines was a Quaker physician from Cincinnati, and you can learn more about his eventful life at Karen Campbell’s Quaker Genealogy blog.


In 1917 the American Medical Association denounced his remedy (by then known as “Haines’ Golden Treatment”) as “a cruel humbug.” On analysing the powders, they found them to comprise “milk sugar, starch, capsicum and a minute amount of ipecac.”


Image: Gustav Imlaür, Ihr zu Füßen! 1883





In all the World there is but one Cure. Dr. Haine’s GOLDEN
SPECIFIC. It can be given in a cup of coffee or tea, or in
articles of food, without the knowledge of the patient, if
necessary. It is absolutely harmless, and will effect a per-
manent and speedy cure, whether the patient is a moderate
drinker or an alcoholic wreck. IT NEVER FAILS. It
operates so quietly and with such certainty that the patient
undergoes no inconvenience, and ere he is aware, his com-
plete reformation is effected. 48 page book of particulars
free.–H. HODDER & Co., Agents, Broad Street, Bristol.
Trade supplied by LYNCH & CO., LONDON.


Source:  The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, Friday 20th Feb 1891
Note: The misplaced apostrophe in “Haines” is as in the original.

 In theory, the ipecac holds promise as a cure – bung it in the guy’s whisky bottle and he might be violently sick whenever he takes a drop, thus he begins to associate drink with sickness.

There wasn’t, however, enough ipecac to make an impression beyond the normal effects of alcohol, and even if there were, the advert advises putting the remedy in the patient’s coffee – so at best it might put him (it’s always a him) off coffee.

There is something particularly sad about the fact that this remedy wasn’t aimed at alcoholics but at their families, who might invest in it a quantity of both hope and money that they could ill afford.


  1. […] The idea of a cure for alcoholism that could be secretly slipped into food is heartbreaking. The name of Dr. Haines’ Golden Specific was no doubt meant to play on the famous gold cure for alcoholism, taken by the well-off at sanitariums. This substance, however, was neither gold nor specific. It could be slipped into food or drink without drawing notice because it did nothing. […]

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