Dr. Guertin's Nerve Syrup

From Kook Science

Dr. Guertin's Nerve Syrup
Dr Guertins Nerve Syrup.jpg

Medical Claims The copy promises it to be "a valuable remedy for epilepsy, St. Vitus Dance, convulsions, hysteria, nervous prostration, insomnia, neurasthenia and disorders of the nervous system."
Vendors Kalmus Chemical Co.

Dr. Guertin's Nerve Syrup was a patent medicine sold by Kalmus Chemical Co. (of Cincinnati), promoted as a treatment for diseases of the nervous system, and particularly as an epilepsy cure. Although it was sold under the name of Dr. A. L. Guertin, an associate linked to the company, the product was likely the creation of Otto Kalmus, who had previously engaged in a mail scam offering treatment of epilepsy through his Epileptic Institute, prior to its being banned as fraudulent by the Postal Service in 1908.


A 1915 A.M.A. chemical analysis of the syrup found it to be a bromide solution – potassium, sodium, and ammonium – mixed with sugar, glycerine, and (colored) water. [1]


  1. Puckner, W. A.; Hilpert, W. S.; Warren, L. E.; Leech, P. N. (1915). 8th. Chicago, Ill.: American Medical Association, Chemical Laboratory. p. 74-77.  (Entry for "Dr. Guertin's Nerve Syrup", including full chemical analysis.)