Balsam of Mecca was a prized substance in Arabian medicine and cosmetics, but it was very difficult to get hold of the real thing in Europe in the 19th century. The true balsam - a resin from the shrub then known as Balsamodendron Opobalsamum (now more commonly Commiphora gileadensis) - was rare, but an inferior form could be produced by boiling the young leaves. The Vital Regenerator might have contained this second type of balsam, but was quite possibly just a mixture of turpentine and aromatic oils.
THE OLD ARABIAN REMEDY.—The VITAL REGENERATOR.—The Cordial Balsam of Mecca is, without doubt, the most marvellous and the most valuable remedy ever discovered. It is prepared from the richest balsams of the East, and is, in fact, principally com- posed of the famous balsam of Mecca, from the home of medical lore—Arabia. It is highly aromatic, balsamic, and invigorating in its qualities. It is the most wonderful blood purifier known, and produces rich wholesome blood when all other remedies fail. For the emigrant, for the traveller, for all who have hard work or mental fatigue, it is the one needful remedy. By its help climate may be defied and health preserved to the latest period of life. But it is principally in Nervous Debility and in constitutions worn out by self-indulgence and disease that this life-giving medi- cine has obtained its world-wide celebrity, and which renders it an inestimable boon to suffering and erring humanity. In these important and serious diseases, for which medical advice so often proves without avail, the VITAL REGENE- RATOR is a speedy, certain, and unfailing resource. Failure is impossible. Taken regularly and for the prescribed period of four weeks, a cure is certain. As water quenches thirst— as oxygen purifies the blood—so does this medicine certainly and immediately cure all nervous disease, debility, and exhaustion. Price 11s. and 33s. a bottle. Sole agent for Liverpool, Mr. J. Woollard, bookseller, 54, Castle-street; London, H. R. Hartnell, chemist, 7, Tichborne- street, Haymarket; Manchester, Mottershead and Co., Market-place; Hull, W. Adams, bookseller, Market-place; Newcastle, Procter and Son, 11, Grey-street; Glasgow Love, bookseller, 15, Nelson-street, Trongate. Source: The Liverpool Mercury, Monday 6th January 1868