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Brown glass bottle of cough mixture

MIST TUSSI RUB CONC may seem like gibberish but the words are actually abbreviated Latin terms commonly used by apothecaries and pharmacists. MIST is short for mistura or “mixture”; RUB is short for rubra, “red”; TUSSI is short for tussive, a medical term for a cough. So the label translates as “Concentrated Red Cough Mixture”. It was also recommended by its makers, C J Hewlett and Son Ltd, to ease bronchitis. The dose was two teaspoonfuls diluted with water for adults and half a teaspoon for children under 12 as the mixture contained compounds of morphine, which is highly addictive.

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Glossary: bottle

Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations

Glossary: bronchitis

Inflammation of one or more bronchi (one of the larger air passages in the lungs), usually a result of infection. It is characterized by intense coughing.

Glossary: morphine

A painkilling drug derived from opium. Morphine is used in hospitals around the world due to its relative lack of side effects.