Concentrated Ocean Water

A dubious medical cure-all from the early 1960s: bottles of briny water marketed as 'concentrated ocean water'.

The sellers claimed it could prolong life, cure arthritis, cancer, Parkinson's disease, hardening of the arteries, etc.

The FDA, which shut down the companies selling it, called it "the great sea salt swindle."

I couldn't find anyone selling concentrated ocean water today. Though there are plenty of present-day products that are similar in spirit — such as those cans of Swiss Mountain Air I posted about recently.

Newport News Daily Press - Apr 21, 1961

Arizona Republic - Mar 26, 1961

Tampa Bay Times - Apr 24, 1961

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 03, 2020
     Category: Health | Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil | 1960s

You can still buy the powder form nowadays. They even have their own website.
Posted by Yudith on 06/03/20 at 11:54 AM
Right, but it's for aquariums, not as quack medicine. You can also buy sea salt in almost any supermarket.
Posted by ges on 06/03/20 at 12:56 PM
The retail places that sell Instant Ocean also have this really cheap chloroquine phosphate you can use to prevent Covid. We call it "pool cleaner".
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 06/04/20 at 12:13 PM
The reason any of these 'cures' sometimes actually help is there can be a tipping point, a very fine line between sick and well. A 0.1% difference in mineral availability can, in really rare cases, be the difference between being at death's door and being perfectly healthy. Medical science can neither predict nor explain it, but snake oil salesmen seem to have a knack for finding it in the wild and exploiting it.
Posted by Phideaux on 06/04/20 at 02:14 PM
No, Phideaux, the reason these frauds - and homoeopaths, and "faith" (as a Christian, don't get me started) healers, and Chinese mass-extinction medicine - sometimes seem to work, is that the human body is great at healing itself. Nothing to do with what you do or do not put into it. Given an illness, almost any illness except for rabies, a certain percentage of sufferers will get better. Just on their own, because of white blood cells and the liver.

There is no "knack" to figuring it out. The only knack they employ is that of convincing the rube that their akwa sukrose had anyting to do with it at all. But it didn't. People get better, and people don't get better. With real medicine, you can prove that more people get better than without it; but even with complete frauds like chloroquine and "dr." Vogel, some people will get better. And that's where they convince you. Don't let them. They're just grabbing onto random fluctuations in the space-time continuum.
Posted by Richard Bos on 06/07/20 at 08:46 AM
Um, no -- there are cases of tiny increases producing significant results, and reverting to the previous status quo caused a return to impairment. They are separate and distinct from spontaneous healing. Such things are so rare, they're virtually impossible to study, but they do exist.

Funny you should mention chloroquine. The Lancet had to retract their article about how it's a fraud. Hospitals in France, Belgium, and the US are restarting their studies and trials, most of which looked promising prior to their being closed down because The NEJM and The Lancet gave credence to the lies about it not being effective.

Posted by Phideaux on 06/07/20 at 09:58 AM
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