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Museum treasures 

Savory & Moore's patent medicated gelatine lamels, 1915–1919

Lamels — drug-infused gelatine sheets placed on the tongue — would have been used to treat influenza during the 1918 pandemic.

Museum treasures lamels

Source: Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Lamels — drug-infused sheets of gelatine — were used to treat influenza, despite lack of proof of effectiveness

This packet of lamels, made by Savory & Moore, dates to the late 1910s. Packets like this would have been used to treat influenza during the 1918 pandemic.

To take a lamel, the patient would allow a drug-infused gelatine sheet to sit on their tongue. The gelatine would melt and the drug would be released.

This pack contains cinnamon and quinine as the active ingredients. Cinnamon was used for its anti-bacterial properties but quinine, a known anti-malarial, had not been proven to work on influenza. Despite the lack of proof of its effectiveness, public demand for quinine was high — so pharmacists kept it well-stocked.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20208133

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