Bile Beans

The February 22 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad:


Wikipedia has a long article on Bile Beans. It was a laxative and tonic that was first manufactured in the 1890s. It was supposedly created by a chemist named Charles Forde based on research on a vegetable source known only to Aboriginal Australians; in reality, Charles Forde did not exist, and the compound consisted primarily of cascara, rhubarb, liquorice, and menthol, all of which were commonly available.

In 1905, a Scottish court ruled that the Bile Bean Manufacturing Company had deliberately defrauded the public by making false statements about Bile Beans. Despite this, the product remained on sale through the 1980s, and its business owner was able to purchase Headingley Castle in Leeds with the firm’s profits.

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