In the 19th and early 20th centuries, consumption was rampant and there was no cure. Patients and families were desperate for any type of treatment to cure the dreaded disease or to lessen its symptoms. Many patients went to sanatoriums, some went into caves trying to be cured and others turned to remedies that they could use at home and that were sold in their local town or by mail. It was unknown in the late 1880s whether or not consumption was contagious. However, poor sanitation, spitting in the streets, and living in a home with an infected patient all contributed to its spread.
In Rochester, a businessman by the name of W. A. Noyes hopped on the remedy bandwagon and began selling his consumption curing remedy, Cannabis Sativa, not only in Rochester, but through the mail to patients all over the country.
His office was in the Powers building in downtown Rochester and was one of 2 high rise building in the city. The Powers building still stands today. Noyes’ remedy was advertised as The Home Treatment for consumption, bronchitis, asthmas, and other lung conditions.
What was in this remedy that promised healing for so many lung conditions? The full list of ingredients are not known, but they included Cannabis Sativa.
Cannabis Stevia is a species that is part of the Cannabis family of plants. Sativa simply means that it is a cultivated plant. Its main psychoactive ingredient is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and it is still used today as medicinal and recreational cannabis.
From all across the country, patients and families would order Cannabis Sativa from Noyes and they would often write back to him and share with him how well it worked. Noyes published the flyer below in Rochester in 1897 to advertise the great healing properties of The Home Treatment and it included positive reviews from patients.
Other than his remedy for consumption and other lung conditions, not much else is known about W. A. Noyes. The bacillus that causes consumption (tuberculosis) was discovered in 1882 but it wasn’t until 1946 that streptomycin was developed to provide a cure.