Murray's Infallible System Tonic

From Kook Science

Murray's Infallible System Tonic
MIST No 2 - Advert - Berkeley Daily Gazette (May 25, 1915, p. 7).png

1915 newspaper advert for M.I.S.T. No. 2, "Great Nerve and Blood Tonic"

a.k.a. M.I.S.T.
Creator(s) S. B. Murray
Vendors M.I.S.T. Co.

Murray's Infallible System Tonic ("M.I.S.T") was the name of two patent medicines sold by S. B. Murray's M.I.S.T Co. through the late 19th and early 20th century.


The original M.I.S.T. was sold as a remedy for "scrofula and catarrh, and affections of the blood, liver, and kidneys."[1] Each box contained 50 capsules,[2] and suggested courses of treatment typically demanded six to ten boxes (or more).

According to a chemical analysis offered as evidence on a misbranding charge (to which the defendants, M.I.S.T. Co., pleaded no contest), Murray's Tonic was composed of "mercury (probably in the form of calomel), emodin (probably from aloes), licorice, methyl salicylate, and compounds of iron, calcium, and magnesium."[1]

M.I.S.T. No. 2

The second tonic, M.I.S.T. No. 2, building on the successful sales of the first, made the even wider claim of being a remedy for "dropsy, gout, rheumatism, scrofula, erysipelas, cancer, inflammation of the bladder, and varicocele, for all nervous disorders and impotency, and, in fact, for every disease of the nervous system, and as a cure for all nervous disorders, impotency, and, in fact, for every disease of the nervous system."[3]

M.I.S.T. No. 2, just as its predecessor, was brought before the courts as fraudulent branding charges (and, again, the charges were not contested). The chemical analysis showed the No. 2 was broadly the same as the original formula, consisting "essentially of aloes, licorice, and other plant material, methyl salicylate, mercurous chlorid, and inorganic matter."[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "5890. Misbranding of Murray's Infallible System Tonic.", U.S. v. M.I.S.T. Co.,, 14 May 1918, 
  2. Oleson, Charles Wilmot (1891), "Murray's Infallible System Tonic, M.I.S.T.", Secret Nostrums and Systems of Medicine: a Book of Formulas, Chicago: Oleson & Co., p. 127-128, 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "5890. Misbranding of M. I. S. T. No. 2, Nerve Tonic.", U.S. v. M.I.S.T. Co.,, 14 May 1918,