Eno's Fruit Salt Invented in the 1850s by James Crossley Eno of Newcastle, the Fruit Salt sold like hotcakes to sailors looking for something to keep them healthy on long journeys. The product is still available today – now manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, it sells in vast quantities worldwide and is a popular ingredient in Indian cookery. It contains sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and sodium carbonate, but in 1906 the Pharmaceutische Centralhalle für Deutschland analysed it as 50% sodium bicarbonate, 15% sodium bitartrate and 35% free tartaric acid.

The advert below is rather subdued by Eno’s standards. More often than not the ads incorporated some moral and philosophical lesson and used poetry or literary quotations to enhance their message. Click on the thumbnail above for a 1897 ad, also from the Penny Illustrated Paper.

For more on the history of J C Eno and his invention, see the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.



The present system of living—partaking of too rich food, as pastry, saccharine, and fatty substances, alcoholic drinks, and an insufficient amount of exercise frequently deranges the liver. I would advise all bilious people, unless they are careful to keep the liver acting freely, to exercise great care in the use of alcoholic drinks, avoid sugar, and always dilute largely with water. Experience shows that sugar, pink or chemically coloured sherbet, mild ales, port wine, dark sherries, sweet champagne, liqueurs, and brandies are all very apt to disagree, while light white wine, and gin or whiskey largely diluted with soda-water, will be found the least objectionable. ENO’S “FRUIT SALT” is peculiarly adapted for any constitutional weakness of the liver; it possesses the power of reparation when digestion has been disturbed or lost, and places the invalid on the right track to health. A world of woes is avoided by those who keep and use ENO’S “FRUIT SALT”; therefore no family should ever be without it.
CAUTION.—Examine each bottle and see the Capsule is marked ENO’S “FRUIT SALT.” Without it you have been imposed on by a worthless and occasionally poisonous imitation.



 Source: The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times ( London) Sat 22 Nov 1890


  1. I have a placard sent by the proprietors of Eno fruit salt to commemorate the coronation of her majesty Queen Elizabeth the II.

    This was sent to me in 1952 as an advertisment for Eno’s Fruit Salt with whom my late father was dealing with.

    I would be more then happy to sell it over to anyone intrested in this master piece of the British Monarchy from Elizabeth I to Elizabeth II.

    • It contains large amounts of sodium, which will raise your blood pressure. Occasional use should not be a problem, but long-term regular use is not recommended, especially if your blood pressure is on the high side.

  2. Over thirty years ago I found an old green Eno’s fruit salts bottle in a mangrove swamp on Abaco Island, Bahamas. It is about 10 inches tall, kind of sea glass green. I always wondered what it had held.

    Ginny Reeve

    • Hi,

      I’m afraid I can’t help as this is a blog about the history of advertising and I don’t sell any products. If you have a specialist Indian food shop anywhere near you, that would be a good place to try, otherwise I hope you can find an online stockist via Google.

      Best wishes

  3. Good day. I have an Eno’s Fruit Salt plaque which used to have a calendar attached to it. It was given to my grandfather by his druggist in Johannesburg many, many years ago. The picture on the plaque has 7 cupids carrying an assortment of fruit – it could be a horn of plenty. I believe this plaque must date back to the 1930’s/40’s -possibly even older. Is there any way I can find out the date it was printed ? I would send a scanned photo but unfortunately I cannot find a site to post the photo. I would appreciate your comment.
    Kind regards
    Dianne neyt

    • Hi Dianne,

      I’m not sure I’ll be able to date the plaque but if you like to email a photo to me at caroline (at) thequackdoctor.com I’ll have a look.


  4. I am blown away by your amazing website! May I please have permission to use info on my site,link to yours and give you full credit? The “bottle bug”has just bitten me again and I will be seriously and regularly updating soon.Kind regards, Rod Comer.

    • Hi Rod,

      I’m pleased you like the site! You are welcome to use the info with a link. I quite often get enquiries about bottles etc but I don’t know much about collecting so I might send a few people your way!


  5. I bought a vintage glass bottle at a thrift store yesterday for $3. It’s seven inches tall, has a light turquoise/greenish tint and the words “Eno’s Fruit Salt” raised in the glass. I googled the words and voila, a wealth of information about my charming old bottle. Fascinating!

  6. My father, Ian Dowie, a chemist from Scotland, harvested fruit salts for Eno from the tropical forests of northern Latin America — Columbia, Venezuela, the Guianas and Trinidad. I have a picture of him paying his workers, in cash, under the shade of a makeshift “factory/refinery” in Venezuela. There is white powder all over the place. If I hadn’t known better I would have thought he was manufacturing cocaine. Eno’s fruit salts are still on the market, and for me work and taste much better than Alka or Bromo Seltzers. But then Eno’s paid for my porridge and tuition.

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