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View Full Version : Petroleum Jelly Taken Internally?


Shinna Minna Ma
03-23-2010, 04:04 PM
The pharmacy at our local shopping center has a front window display of some old medicine,, including Mercurochrome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merbromin#Mercurochrome) and an old jar of Petroleum Jelly. The PJ is from a place in Toronto, and the jar and label look really old. One of the things I find fascinating is that the instructions are for both external and internal use (for coughs, sore throats, congestion). Did people really eat this stuff?

--SMM

anson2995
03-23-2010, 04:27 PM
Yes, some still do (http://tmz.com/2009/07/27/stephon-marbury-eats-vaseline-oprah-video/3), although the manufacturer of Vaseline labels the packages "for external use only."

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
03-23-2010, 04:28 PM
Robert Chesebrough (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Chesebrough) took a spoonful every day--and he lived to be in his 90s.

freckafree
03-23-2010, 04:39 PM
I know I've related this before in some other thread, but my mom (who was born in 1918) told me that she and her high school friends made "diet" mayonnaise using mineral oil. :eek:

Slithy Tove
03-23-2010, 04:45 PM
Robert Chesebrough (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Chesebrough) took a spoonful every day--and he lived to be in his 90s.

and if that isn't the face of a man with loose stools...

CC
03-23-2010, 04:47 PM
Yes, some still do (http://tmz.com/2009/07/27/stephon-marbury-eats-vaseline-oprah-video/3), although the manufacturer of Vaseline labels the packages "for external use only."
Uh, you're citing Stephon Marbury? Funny, but proves only that some idiot somewhere will eat petroleum jelly.

Harmonious Discord
03-23-2010, 04:54 PM
There were many weird remedies. I downloaded a candy making book from a hundred years ago. They had tar cough drops in there. Notes in the book says they likely mean pin tar which is something people actualy chewed back then too.

The Candy Maker's Guide A Collection Of Choice Recipes For Sugar Boiling Compiled And Published By The Fletcher Mnf'g. Co. (http://gutenberg.org/etext/30293)
TAR COUGH DROPS.

1 oz. Dried Rose Leaves boil in 1 gallon water to half a gallon, strain and mix with 10 pounds Sugar, 21 pounds Glucose and 1 oz. strained Tar, boil to the crack and finish as for other drops.

I have seen consumable remedies that used turpentine, paraffin, kerosene, or coal tar. There are medicines that were sold that were poisonous. There's nothing else like a good purgatory.

Harmonious Discord
03-23-2010, 05:09 PM
I always liked this after I found it Skunk Grease (http://wisconsinhistory.org/museum/artifacts/archives/003166.asp).

Swallowed My Cellphone
03-23-2010, 05:17 PM
I think it's still a main ingredient in hairball remedies for cats, although a lot use mineral oil. Katalax, is one that I think uses petroleum jelly. I'll have to look at the stuff I have at home.

Markxxx
03-23-2010, 05:25 PM
My grandmother used to do the spoonful of Vaseline when you were ill. But she was a big one for castor oil too.

notfrommensa
03-23-2010, 05:35 PM
My mother claims I ate a significant amount (1/2 jar) when I was a toddler. That was over 45 yrs ago.

ralph124c
03-23-2010, 06:03 PM
My grandmother used to do the spoonful of Vaseline when you were ill. But she was a big one for castor oil too.

Yep, MY grandmother gave us a spoonfull every night (when we were unlucky enough to be under her care).
I have no idea what it did for us..it is undigestible, so maybe it just makes things..squishy?;)

Duckster
03-24-2010, 12:08 AM
and if that isn't the face of a man with loose stools...

... which probably gave reason to change the company name to Chesebrough-Ponds.

Cat Whisperer
03-24-2010, 12:26 AM
I think it's still a main ingredient in hairball remedies for cats, although a lot use mineral oil. Katalax, is one that I think uses petroleum jelly. I'll have to look at the stuff I have at home.
I feed it to my cat - she won't have anything to do with the hairball meds she needs, but she'll eat Vaseline right off my finger. Cats is weird.

FloatyGimpy
03-24-2010, 01:56 AM
I always liked this after I found it Skunk Grease (http://wisconsinhistory.org/museum/artifacts/archives/003166.asp).

Oh, man. Can you imaging rubbing skunk on yourself...on purpose even!:eek:

Oglomott
03-24-2010, 05:06 AM
On a similar note, my father used to eat Vicks VapoRub whenever he had a cold. Not any of the modern stuff they make now, but rather the older kind that came in the blue jar that you were supposed to rub on your chest. The stuff looked kind of like Vaseline, but I don't know if it had any in it or not. Sure smelled stronger than Vaseline!

norinew
03-24-2010, 05:57 AM
On a similar note, my father used to eat Vicks VapoRub whenever he had a cold. Not any of the modern stuff they make now, but rather the older kind that came in the blue jar that you were supposed to rub on your chest. The stuff looked kind of like Vaseline, but I don't know if it had any in it or not. Sure smelled stronger than Vaseline!
I had an aunt who would make us (as kids) eat Vick's when we had a cold! For this reason, whenever we were in her care, I would not admit to having a cold or cold-like symptoms! Ewwwwwwwww

Jinx
03-24-2010, 06:19 AM
My dog once ate a cherry lip balm (basically the same stuff)...cleaned him out real good!

Sage Rat
03-24-2010, 06:20 AM
Seeing as there seems to be no factual information provided in this thread, I took it upon myself to take 2 seconds and google it, rather than posting some sort of personal anecdote. Quite miraculously, this has resulted in what appears to be fact-like information.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Qg5YAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA105&lpg=PA105&dq=vaseline+ingestion&source=bl&ots=auyMi7udWy&sig=4wAX289VafpkXvk4UmKMLzQhkOQ&hl=en&ei=YvOpS-_lBZLasgPmuY20BQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=23&ved=0CIEBEOgBMBY#v=onepage&q=vaseline%20ingestion&f=false

http://ecogreenbeauty.com/?s=vaseline

Overall, it appears to be relatively benign, but it is also perhaps best to be wary of coming into regular contact with it as long term use may have downsides (e.g. cancer). There is almost certainly no advantage to regular digestion as it just passes through you.

Swallowed My Cellphone
03-24-2010, 10:16 AM
Seeing as there seems to be no factual information provided in this thread,Really? I thought the information upthread was pretty clear. The answer is "Yes, petroleum jelly was used internally. Primarily with the belief that it acted as a stool softener/mild laxative and promoted 'regularity'."

Grandmothers were fond of it or a spoonful mineral oil (which is basically a much more liquidy version of petroleum jelly). It's no longer really used in its pure form this way by humans anymore, but it's used in veterinary medicine still, along iwth minerl oil, as a laxative for cats, ferrets, elephants, etc.

gaffa
03-24-2010, 10:29 AM
Robert Chesebrough (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Chesebrough) took a spoonful every day--and he lived to be in his 90s.
Eating a spoonful of petroleum jelly before a scene was the secret technique behind 80s porn star Little Oral Annie (http://imdb.com/name/nm0001913/)'s deep throat.

lalenin
03-24-2010, 10:35 AM
Eating a spoonful of petroleum jelly before a scene was the secret technique behind 80s porn star Little Oral Annie (http://imdb.com/name/nm0001913/)'s deep throat.

Finally! Factual and useful information.

Sage Rat
03-24-2010, 10:54 AM
Really? I thought the information upthread was pretty clear. The answer is "Yes, petroleum jelly was used internally. Primarily with the belief that it acted as a stool softener/mild laxative and promoted 'regularity'."

Grandmothers were fond of it or a spoonful mineral oil (which is basically a much more liquidy version of petroleum jelly). It's no longer really used in its pure form this way by humans anymore, but it's used in veterinary medicine still, along iwth minerl oil, as a laxative for cats, ferrets, elephants, etc.
Say that I ask about taking doses of uranium and people come in giving anecdotes about how their grandpa used to throw chunks of it in the local pond and get his feet x-rayed every time he tried on a new shoe. Yes, it is factual information about your grandpa, but anecdotes about gramps and his beliefs on science and medicine don't strike me as quite the pinnacle of what the SD can provide, quite specifically because grandpa might have been quite wrong. He might have been lucky and survived even still, but hence why anecdote is not datum.

Harmonious Discord
03-24-2010, 11:02 AM
The folks that said they knew people that consumed it did answer the question. The question was did people consume petroleum jelly. The answer was yes.

Swallowed My Cellphone
03-24-2010, 11:14 AM
Say that I ask about taking doses of uranium and people come in giving anecdotes about how their grandpa used to throw chunks of it in the local pond and get his feet x-rayed every time he tried on a new shoe. Yes, it is factual information about your grandpa, but anecdotes about gramps and his beliefs on science and medicine don't strike me as quite the pinnacle of what the SD can provide, quite specifically because grandpa might have been quite wrong. He might have been lucky and survived even still, but hence why anecdote is not datum.No, the question wasDid people really eat this stuff?The answers have been "Yes." and it was a fairly common home remedy.

ETA: And from a historical site on petroleum products: "An 1886 issue of Manufacture and Builder even reported, “French bakers are making large use of vaseline in cake and other pastry. Its advantage over lard or butter lies in the fact that, however stale the pastry may be, it will not become rancid.” " Um. Ew.

gaffa
03-24-2010, 11:40 AM
Finally! Factual and useful information.
Hey, just doing my bit. Next to add the interview where I read that factoid to her Wikipedia entry.

It did give her scenes a very unique look. Extra shiny.

Note: I have no idea if Richard Cheesebourough had the same reason to eat it.

Swallowed My Cellphone
03-24-2010, 11:43 AM
Missed the edit because the board went screwy.

Chesebrough registered "Vaseline" as a trademark in 1870 as an "emollient and medicinal preparation for external and internal use". It was marketed as a healing salve for skin burns and to soothe throat irritation. It's no longer approved for internal use because, like mineral oil, it was leading to lipoid pneumonia a common cause of which was the accidental aspiration of mineral oil/Vaseline/related stuff as a laxative.

Injesting Vaseline was more common at the turn of the century. So gramps and gran took it as kids and tried to foist it on some of the rest of us.

In any case, if you look up lipoid pneumonia, you'll probably see references to Vaseline and mineral oil being used as a laxative. Now that it's no longer in vogue as it was in Gramp's generation, LP is more likely to be caused by siphoning diesel, or folk remedies like oily nasal drops.

Ferret Herder
03-24-2010, 12:13 PM
I have seen consumable remedies that used turpentine, paraffin, kerosene, or coal tar.
Food-grade paraffin wax (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraffin#Paraffin_wax) is still consumed today, albeit in small quantities. It's used in some candy coatings and gum.

Cat Whisperer
03-24-2010, 12:14 PM
<snip> anecdotes about gramps and his beliefs on science and medicine don't strike me as quite the pinnacle of what the SD can provide<snip>
No, that would be bitching about The Powers That Be. :)

Jophiel
03-24-2010, 02:26 PM
I think it's still a main ingredient in hairball remedies for cats, although a lot use mineral oil.
I bought some hairball medicine the other day and, yes, it was the primary ingredient.

Swallowed My Cellphone
03-24-2010, 03:01 PM
I bought some hairball medicine the other day and, yes, it was the primary ingredient.While looking up its veterinary use, I also saw a really weird recipe for elephants.

california jobcase
03-24-2010, 06:04 PM
If you fry the elephants in it, they're diet elephants-

Guinastasia
03-24-2010, 10:54 PM
I think that someone should bite the bullet and ingest some -- for science and all that.

(BTW, isn't it actually reccomended nowadays that you NOT use it on burns?)

MrDibble
03-25-2010, 05:54 AM
Petroleum jelly shouldn't be taken internally - only use water-based lube, man!

Horatio Hellpop
03-25-2010, 06:44 AM
I knew a guy who spread it on his gums every day. He died from AIDS not long after I met him, so he might not be a great advertisement for its internal use.

pancakes3
03-25-2010, 03:01 PM
Petroleum jelly shouldn't be taken internally - only use water-based lube, man!

i came here expecting SOMEBODY to cite the other internal use of vaseline. i just didn't want to be the first.

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