Nature’s Remedy, NR Tablets, were popular in the history of patent medicine. They were manufactured by the A. H. Lewis Medicine Company of St. Louis, Missouri. The motto of patent medicines before the 1930s was even if they can’t cure you, they’d drug you to the point where you wouldn’t care.
The tablets were said to be a “vegetable compound for defective elimination in constipation, biliousness, and other troubles of the liver and digestive organs.” These are all just fancy words for a laxative. In fact, NR Tablets and other patent medicines of the day likely included opium or cocaine. Liquid tonics often contained alcohol. It was pretty much the wild west up until the end of the 1920s.
The Dawn of Regulation
In the 1930s, the federal government began to crack down on the patent medicine industry. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began to regulate the sale of these products, and it required manufacturers to prove that their products were safe and effective. As a result of these regulations, many patent medicines were discontinued, and the A. H. Lewis Medicine Company eventually went out of business.
The founder of the A. H. Lewis Medicine Company was Augustus Henry Lewis, a pharmacist who began his career in Bolivar, Missouri. In 1901, Lewis moved his company to St. Louis. The company was successful, and by the 1920s, it was one of the largest manufacturers of patent medicines in the United States.
Nature’s Remedy NR Tablets were one of the company’s most popular products. They were sold in small tins, and each tin contained 100 tablets. The tablets were advertised as being safe and effective. They were said to be able to relieve a variety of digestive problems.
The company manufactured a wide variety of other patent medicines. They included Asthma Cure, Kidney Pills, Liver Pills, Nervine, Painkiller, Rheumatism Cure, Stomach Bitters, Tonic, and Worm Medicine.
Lewis died in 1931, and his nephew, James Howe, took over as president of the company. Howe continued to run the company until 1953, when he sold it to the Rexall Drug Company. Rexall continued to manufacture the company’s products until 1967, when it discontinued them.
- Year Started: 1901
- Year Ended: 1967
- Origin Of Name: Descriptive
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: A. H. Lewis Medicine Company
- Owner While In Use: A. H. Lewis Medicine Company
- Owner Successor: Rexall
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Dulcolax
- Naics Code: 325412
- Location Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri USA