Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:04 am
The patent medicines sold in days gone by may, contrary to the name, not have had real government patents. But that didn't stop their makers from claiming the concoctions could cure ailments ranging from indigestion to jaundice and fever.
Now, researchers have put some of these old elixirs and pills in the Henry Ford Museum's large collection of patent medicines to a modern test. They found a mix of potentially harmful metals like lead and mercury along with benign ingredients, including calcium and iron.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, can I tell you how great you look? No? Well, that's my Can I Just Tell You essay and it's coming up in a few minutes.
But first, we are focusing on the economic progress or lack thereof facing African-Americans. This year marks the 50th anniversary of a number of important dates in civil rights history, including the march on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.
And next, the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphor. We're celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your poetic tweets. We've been hearing your poems that are 140 characters or less. We call our series Muses and Metaphor.
Today's poem comes from Christina Lux of Lawrence, Kansas. She's the assistant director of the African Studies Center at the University of Kansas. Our series curator, Holly Bass, says this tweet reminded her of how poetry can help us sort out difficult emotions and share personal pain. Here it is.