Father John's Medicine

From Kook Science

Father John's Medicine
Father John's Medicine - box, bottle.jpg

4½ fl. oz. bottle of Father John's Medicine (c. 1925)

Medical Claims "A reconstructive tonic in Coughs, Colds, Spasmodic Croup, Bronchitis, Asthmatic Coughs and for Building Up the System."
Creator(s) Named for Father John O'Brien, formula from his unnamed physician
Year created 1855
Vendors Carleton & Hovey Co.; Father John's Medicine Company

Father John's Medicine was a cod liver oil tonic, manufactured and sold by Carleton & Hovey Co. (later rebranded Father John's Medicine Company) of Lowell, Massachusetts, reputedly based on an 1855 formula preferred by Father John O'Brien, the tonic's namesake. A modern formulation of the same name, now containing dextromethorphan (DXM), is manufactured by the Oakhurst Company (Woolfoam Co.) to this day.


The formula has been provided as a mixture of cod liver oil, gum arabic, glycerin, with licorice and sugar water.