Dr. Pembroke’s Remedies – Kendal Black Drops

Dr. Pembroke's Remedies

Those of you who are regular readers of my delightful romps through the darker side of medical science might sometimes lend themselves to question – where on earth does he get the energy? Where on earth, you wonder, in between his thriving yet surprisingly lethal medical practice, endless social engagements and the occasional spot of late night grave-robbing, does he find the time and impetus to produce articles and essays of such fine caliber?

"Heroin, Frank..." "Uh, Nordberg, that's a pretty tall order, you're gonna have to give me a couple of days of that one..."

“Heroin, Frank…”
“Uh, Nordberg, that’s a pretty tall order, you’re gonna have to give me a couple of days for that one…”

I’ll tell you my secrets: firstly, I haven’t slept since 1791, and secondly, I enjoy the endless benefits of quaffing large quantities of Kendal Black Drop, a product I Am Certainly In No Way Endorsing In Return For Financial Compensation Because My Rent Is Due.

And what is the primary ingredient of this fantastic, fabulous and fortifying pharmaceutical formulation known as the ‘black drop’, consumed by not only the rich and powerful, but some of the most gifted visionaries of our time?

Quite simply, my esteemed ladies and sirs: massive quantities of opium.

And a little nutmeg. You know, for taste.

Idyllic countryside, rolling mountains, and home to some of the most famous drug addicts since the Romans

Idyllic countryside, rolling mountains, and home to some of the most famous drug addicts since Marcus Aurelius

Named after the town of Kendal located in the Lake District, England, the bitter sweet ‘drop’ (named as such due to its recommended consumption in small quantities – haha, I know) is understood to have been first created in the 1750’s by Dr. Toustall of The Society of Friends (Quakers) in County Durham. This proves once and for all that you don’t have to be high to live in the Northeast of England, but it helps.

The recipe is as follows:

“Prep. Take 1/2 lb. of opium, sliced; 3 pints of good verjuice; 1 1/2 oz of nutmeg; 1/2 oz of saffron; boil them to proper thickness, then add 1/2 lb of sugar and two spoonfuls of yeast. Set the whole in a warm place, near the fire, for 6 or 8 weeks, then place it in the open air until becomes of the consistence of a syrup; lastly, decant, filter and bottle it up, adding a little sugar to each bottle. These ingredients ought to yield, when properly made, about 2 pints of the strained liquor.”

It may be taken for many an ailment, including, but not limited to:
Poisoning, bites, headaches, children, footaches, colic, hardness (and softness) of the kidneys, dropsies, rheumatism, cancer, hangovers, asthma, writers block, leprosy, astigmatism, annoying in-laws and typhus (a prize to anyone who can differentiate between the suffering caused by those last two items).

Warning: May Cause Poetry

Warning: May Cause Poetry

In short, it cures everything, because believe me, after taking a tot or two of this, you’d think undergoing amputation would be a walk in the park – depending on the removed limb, that is.

And if my humble endorsement is not sufficient for you, perhaps you might consider other, lesser celebrity endorsements, such as that of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet and philosopher, author of ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner‘ and life-long opium-appreciator who used it on a daily basis, and perhaps even owes his finest writings and speeches to its rejuvenating effects.

It even gets a mention in Byron’s Don Juan:

” . . . for Cupid’s cup With the first draught intoxicates apace, A quintessential laudanum or ‘black drop’, Which makes one drunk at once . . .”

Now, yes, I understand. Much has been said about the dangers of opium, certainly in terms of its addictive qualities. Even Coleridge himself stated that his ‘eyes had been opened to the true nature of the habit into which I had been ignorantly deluded by the seeming magic effects of opium‘. Baudelaire found it similar to a comely lady-friend: “…an old and terrible friend, and, alas! like them all, full of caresses and deceptions.” Others have even made the outrageous claim that it serves as some form of ‘gateway drug’ to stronger substances, such as aspirin and chocolate. This is of course poppycock – one can stop anytime one likes if one has sufficient mental fortitude. Now, where did I leave that vial…

So when you’re suffering from… well anything, really, pray consider Kendal Black Drops as a speedy remedy, sold at many a reputable retailer and tradehouse. Composed of ‘God’s own medicine’ opium – that most wonderful and absolutely side-effect free substance, and added to a delicately mixed combination of random items we found in the cupboard that sounded good, you’ll be feeling better in no time.

Remember: Kendal Black Drop – It Will Most Certainly Keep You Coming Back For More! ©

(Sources available on request)


Dr. J.D.T. Pembroke – when he isn’t high as a kite on some concoction or other, is a surgeon, physician, alienist; these are the collected writings of the doctor’s demented journals and articles as he studies the peculiar, disturbing and downright strange history of medicine and the macabre. You can find more of his ‘Remedies’ series HERE.

On Spotify? Dr. Pembroke invites you to listen to his collection of delightfully unsettling music in his ever-expanding playlist.

You can also find him on The Book Of Faces and Twitter for his whereabouts, performances and other medically related curiosities.

 

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