Ayer's Ague Cure

From Kook Science

Ayer's Ague Cure
Medical Claims A "speedy and certain cure for Fever and Ague, Intermittent, Remittent, and Bilious Fevers, and for all disorders peculiar to malarious, marshy and miasmatic districts" without use of "quinine, arsenic, zinc, or other poisonous substances"
Year created 1857
Vendors J. C. Ayer Co.

Ayer's Ague Cure is the brand name for an anti-malarial vegetable bitter that was formerly manufactured and sold by Dr. J. C. Ayer Co. of Lowell, Massachusetts.


Though the advertising boasted that Ayer's Ague Cure did not contain "quinine, arsenic, zinc, or other poisonous substances," it was found that it did, in fact, contain primarily quinine, quinidine, cinchonine, and cinchonidine, all four alkaloids extracted from the cinchona tree. Oleson's Secret Nostrums and Systems of Medicine (1890) describes the cure as "a syrupy tincture of cinchona with aromatics," giving the volume and formula as follows: "Each bottle holds 6 fluid ounces, and each fluid ounce was found to contain 3.2 grains of amorphous cinchona alkaloids, 3 grains cinchonine, 0.9 cinchonidine, 0.8 quinine, and 1 grain quinidine."[1]



  1. Oleson, Charles W. (1890), "Ayer's Ague Cure", Secret Nostrums and Systems of Medicine: a Book of Formulas, p. 12,