THE PISO’S STORY
PISO’S CURE FOR CONSUMPTION:
Originally named after one of the founders Ezra T. Hazeltine, the Hazeltine Corp., of Warren Pennsylvania, was founded in 1869, and soon became famous for its cough medicine, “Piso’s Cure for Consumption”. In fact, the product became so popular that in time, the company actually changed its name to “The Piso Company.”
Unfortunately, Piso’s has the distinction of being the only brand name cannabis medicine named in Samuel Adam’s (now classic) book on quackery “The Great American Fraud.”
Now in all fairness it should be pointed out that the company has its defenders, who point out that the company itself voluntarily gave up the use of opium and opium by-products before the 1880’s. In addition the lexicon of the English language has changed somewhat over the years, when “Piso’s Cure for Consumption” first came out, the term ‘cure’ and ‘treatment’ could have been seen linguistically as synonymous.
However, I for one think otherwise. It took the 1906 Pure Food & Drug Act, before Piso’s was forced to change its name from, “Piso’s Cure for Consumption” to the more truthful, “Piso’s Cure,” and still later on to the more accurate “Piso’s Remedy” for cough and colds.
Additionally, the very name “Piso” in Spanish literally means floor, such as, “hey drink some of this stuff and you’ll be floored.” This is something that Ezra Hazeltine would have been well aware of. However, the smoking gun, what seals the argument, may be an ad that they themselves ran in a reputable medical journal of the day, which reads as follows::
THE PISO COMPANY HAS WONAt great cost, the suit brought against the counterfeiters of Piso’s Cure for Consumption. The defenses set up by the counterfeiters were that consumption could not be cured, that Piso’s Cure was not a cure, and that it contained opium, morphine or other dangerous ingredients. All of these defenses the court held to be baseless and unsustained, and granted us an injunction perpetually restraining these infringers. Many of the best chemists in the United States, after careful analyses, testified to the truth of our representations. Several physicians, and a multitude of our customers testified to absolute cures of consumption in its earlier stages, accomplished by Piso’s Cure.—- The Pharmaceutical ERA Oct. 1, 1903 pp7