Bottle of Dovers Powder tablets : Captain R C Grieve, 37 Battalion, AIF

Accession Number RELAWM01109.007
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Chemicals, Cork, Glass, Gutta-percha, Paper
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: Western Front 1917: 3rd Battle of Ypres
Maker CHAS. OGG & Co.
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made c. 1914- 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Small glass beaker with cork stopper. A paper label with the manufacturer's details printed in red 'CHAS. OGG & Co PHARMACISTS / 76 COLLINS ST'; handwritten in black ink under this is 'Dovers Powder tablets / take two / not more than three / for feverish colds on going / to bed to induce perspiration.'

History / Summary

Dover's powder was a traditional medicine against cold and fever developed by Thomas Dover. Dover powder's key ingredient opium led it to be used as a cure for cholera, diarrheoa and the common cold. The mixture is usually comprised of opium, ipecac. and potassium sulphate. It is no longer in use in modern medicine, but may have been in use at least through the 1960s.

The medication combined Opium with what we know today as ipecac (ipecacuanha), a substance that induces vomiting. The result was a pain-reducing potion that might induce a sense of euphoria but could not be ingested in large quantities because of its emetic properties.