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'Tabloid' rhubarb tablets, England, 1900-1930

The root of the rhubarb plant has long been used medicinally as a laxative to purge and cleanse the intestines. From this bottle, one rhubarb tablet was to be taken each day as ordered by a physician. The treatment was commonly available at pharmacies and remains available today, marketed as a natural herbal remedy. ‘Tabloid’ is a brand name of Burroughs, Wellcome & Co., who made this item. It refers to the compressed nature of the product and was coined by Henry Wellcome in 1884. The term remains in common use today within the newspaper industry.

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Glossary: tablet

Also known as a pill, it is made by compressing a powdered form of one or more drugs. It is usually taken by mouth, but may be inserted into a different body cavity.