April 10, 2008 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Every August the 15th my mom used to come down with a terrible case of seasonal asthma. Back in the 50's people used to do a lot of home doctoring so to try to survive these attacks she used to get a product from the local drugstore called "Asthmadora" which she would burn in a saucer and inhale in a closed room. She would feel better after several days of lying in a dark room and breathing the Asthmadora air with labored breaths. I always thought it was an unusual product (smelled like marijuana) as the sweet, ashy smell was fairly potent and had an unforgettable scent. As a small child I was scared when mom was sick and anxious for her to hurry up and get better so I was glad when the Asthmadora was burning as it helped her condition. I have since "googled" this product and 'can't come up with anything. Am I the only person out there who remembers it? Thanks
posted by Tullyogallaghan to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My father described something like this when I asked him about his first asthma attack (which happened sometime in the 30's).
posted by brujita at 10:41 PM on April 10, 2008

Fairly interesting... found this:

If you were bold enough, and in a hurry to change your internal world, you could even go to the drugstore and buy Asthmador. I'm sure you've never heard of Asthmador. It was, as its name would indicate, an asthma medication. You were supposed to pour out a little mound of the powder, light it up, and inhale the smoke. To clear your bronchia. But if you scooped the powder into empty gelatin capsules (which you bought at the same pharmacy) and swallowed the capsules -- five of them, or ten, anyhow a lot -- you went on a trip. A rough ride, admittedly: it was like stepping off a cliff. Because Asthmador was compounded of belladonna, datura (loco weed) and some potassium perchlorate as an oxydizer, to help the stuff burn. Asthmador was not for the timid, let me tell you.

The good doctor made cigarettes too. Here's an ad.
posted by aristan at 11:53 PM on April 10, 2008

Sounds better than what I used to take for asthma as a kid. Way before inhalers et. al. it was a tiny red coated pill in the shape of a rounded square I think. The important part was that I had to put it under my tongue for a minute before swallowing. The only pill I know that required you to do that was nitroglycerin [hmmm, googling for this + asthma does bring up nitroglycerin!]. So maybe that was what I had been prescribed!

Luckily, I grew out of asthma.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 9:48 AM on April 11, 2008

Ooh, Outtacontext, I used to take those too. My grandmother had one color and I had another. She said she had asthma and insisted I did too. I now believe that they were a placebo because my GM had lots of hysteria issues (I still loved her but...) and I can't recall an asthma attack per se.
posted by andreap at 4:31 PM on April 11, 2008

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