Crazy Crystals: Quack Mineral Water

The claim was that the "crystals" were removed in factories from natural spring water.  In fact, the main ingredient in this mineral water was "Glauber's salt, or the 'horse salts' of the veterinarian" wrote Dr. Arthur J. Cramp, head of the AMA Bureau of Investigation in 1935.  Other popular quack brands cited by Dr. Cramp were Geuda Spring Crystals, Jad Salts, Mineral crystals, Sleepy Salts, and Texas Wonder Crystals.  (See "Salts" and "Crystals" Quackery, Hygeia, July 1935.)  The consumer mixed the salt crystals with water and drank 1-8 glasses a day depending on the recommended "cure."

For Release in the MORNING PAPERS of Saturday, December 21, 1940



Crazy Water Company, Mineral Wells, Texas, and four of its executives, have been ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to cease and desist from misrepresentations concerning their products, recommended as a treatment for certain ailments and sold under the trade designations "Crazy Mineral Water," "Crazy Water Crystals" and "Crazy Fiz."

...The Commission finds that in advertisements in newspapers, circulars, radio broadcasts and other media in commerce, the respondents have resented that the mineral waters and derivative thereof, which they sell, will cure or are beneficial in the treatment of many diseases of the alimentary tract, the urinary tract, kidneys and gall duct, and kindred diseases and ailments; that constipation and "faulty elimination" are the causes of and associated with, numerous ailments, afflictions, and conditions enumerated by them...

The Commission finds that the products possess no therapeutic value in excess of those of a cathartic or laxative, plus a tendency to temporarily neutralize excess gastric acidity.

The respondents are ordered to cease and desist from representing that their products are a cure or remedy for certain diseases, or symptoms of disease...

The Commission order also directs the respondents to cease representing that such products possess any therapeutic properties beyond those of a cathartic or laxative and as an antacid with a tendency to to temporarily neutralize excess gastric acidity; or as a cure, remedy, for, or possess any beneficial therapeutic properties in the treatment of , urticaria, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic metritis, parametritic exudations; diabetes mellitus, gravel and calculous concretion in the bladder and gall duct; fevers, toxic conditions, typhoid, influenza, anaphylaxis, nephritis, pyelitis, catarrhal jaundice, cholecystitis, Bright's disease, kidney trouble, obesity, irregularities of the liver, gall duct and bladder, rheumatism, arthritis, neuritis, high blood pressure, acidosis, lumbago, gout, poisonous system, affected vision, colds, scarlet fever, aching joints, and numbness of limbs, and that these ailments and conditions are caused by or generally associated with, excess gastric acidity or constipation.



Excerpted from Federal Trade Commission press release received by the AMA Bureau of Investigation on December 23, 1940. From the American Medical Association Historical Health Fraud and Alternative Medicine Collection.

TOP: Sales card from Crazy Water Company. BOTTOM - Portion Crazy Crystals pamphlet cover, ca. 1933. Graphics and "'Salts' and 'Crystals' Quackery" (Hygeia) and FTC 12/30/40 Press Release are from the American Medical Association's Historical Health Fraud & Alternative Medicine Collection.

Crazy Crystals | LaMercey | Electrovita | Revigator

last updated April 13, 2013