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Did Sal Hepatica get its name because the liverwort was an ingredient?

Question #139230. Asked by tjoebigham.
Last updated Aug 29 2016.
Originally posted Feb 06 2015 2:47 PM.

Related Trivia Topics: Name Game  
wjames star
Answer has 2 votes
wjames star
12 year member
102 replies avatar

Answer has 2 votes.
No, it did not contain liverwort (hepatica)

Feb 06 2015, 5:07 PM
AyatollahK star
Answer has 3 votes
Currently Best Answer
AyatollahK star
16 year member
710 replies avatar

Answer has 3 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
No. Sal Hepatica was so named because it was supposed to be a natural laxative salt that was beneficial to the liver, similar to another popular patent medicine of its time, Carter's Little Liver Pills. "Hepatic" means "related to the liver". Bristol Myers discontinued Sal Hepatica because it was being investigated by the FTC the same way the Carter's was (see the 1951 Time article); when the Supreme Court refused to take Carter's case (and Carter's had to drop any reference to "Liver" from its name), "Sal Hepatica" just became an effervescent laxative.

As you can see from the Sal Hepatica label, "liverwort" wasn't an ingredient:


Here's a 1946 ad for it:


and a 1937 one:


And here's the Time article about the FTC cracking down on Carter's Little Liver Pills:


Response last updated by LadyNym on Aug 29 2016.
Feb 06 2015, 5:11 PM
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