Lydia Pinkham, Still Popping Pills

LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS – Back in the early 20th century, there was one brand for women’s problems. It was Lydia Pinkham’s.

The Midol of its time, it cured all sorts of ailments for women. Back then with medicines, they often cured MANY ailments.

We knew nothing of the brand until we heard it mentioned last week by a person born in the 1920s. She thought it was gone, but it turns out Lydia Pinkham medicine is is still sold.

Lydia Pinkham (1819-1883) developed the pills to help women with their female ailments. She was an early feminist of sorts, and her history is of course related to the women’s movement. (If interested there is a great Michigan research paper online about how it reflected women’s health trends.) Apparently, the company grew out of the Panic of 1873, when Lydia’s husband was broke. Then, she thought of the idea of selling her recipe.

Her house is in Lynn, Massachusetts; you must read Doris Linden’s history from Antique Bottle and Glass Collector to get the whole story. Apparently the folks in Lynn don’t care to much about this Oprah of the 1870s, but at least Doris has unearthed the full history.

Ingredients were  licorice, chamomile, pleurisy root, Jamaica dogwood, black cohosh, life plant, fenugreek seed and dandelion root. Amazon still sells a version of the potion, though readers should always wary of any unregulated herbal medicines.

There are apparently two versions.  Numark Laboratories of Edison, N.J. sells Lydia Pinkham Herbal Compound. There is also Lydia’s Secret sold by Time of Your Life Nutraceuticals of St. Petersburg, Florida.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.


  1. My mother used the pink pills for many years. I am not sure why she took them so I cannot comment on whether they were helpful.

  2. We have the Lydia Pink on our site, both the liquid form and well as the pill form. It is a very good seller and from what we hear from our customers it that there are many reason’s for women to take Lydia Pinkham.

  3. I believe in the lydia pinkham pills. I have went through my change of life and someone just asked me a couple days age what I took during it. I told them lydia pinkham pills but did not know if you could get them any more. She looked them up on the internet and there they were. They sure helped me and hope the word would get out so others will know about them.
    thank you.

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