Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Nettle’s Tussodyne

Posted on by royvickery |

2014-03-11 16.16.38At the junction of Noyna and Upper Tooting Roads, in the London Borough of Wandsworth, is a pharmacy with an advertisement for ‘Nettle’s Tussodyne – the Cough Healer’ and ‘Nettle’s Tonic – the best pick-me-up’, presumably dating from the first half of the twentieth century.

The punctuation implies that the Tussodyne and Tonic were made, or invented, by a company called Nettle’s rather than made from nettles [Urtica dioica], but given nettle’s numerous medicinal uses, perhaps both medicines contained nettle extracts.

Any comments would be much appreciated.

Comment:  ‘The name came from the founder of the chemists, William Robert Pett Nettle, who moved to London from Cornwall in the 1880s, having become a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 1881.  He opened a second branch further along at 138, with both being taken over by Alfred Owen in c.1905.  While the sign is ostensibly a privilege for Meggezones, it is surprising to see Nettles advertising their own, competing, product on the same panel’ [Sam Roberts, author with Roy Reed of Ghost Signs: A London Story, 2021, December 2020].

Image: March 2014.

Updated 12 September 2023.


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