Warner’s Safe Diabetes Cure

Warner’s Safe Diabetes Cure was one of Warner’s initial offerings in 1879.  The box promised “A Sure Remedy for Diabetes.”  But, as we all know even 125+ years later, there is no cure for diabetes. Diabetes is still very much with us and is generally managed by insulin or diet. No big surprise that Warner promised cures to the incurable. The surprise is that there were those who believed that his nostrum resolved their problems.

Warner described Diabetes as being of “two forms, the insipid and the sweet.”  If you understand what that means, please let me know. He goes on to say that both forms “are revealed by an unusual flow of water, accompanied with great thirst, loss of flesh, cramps, sore gums, boils, weakness, etc., etc.” The whole “loss of flesh” thing sounds kind of scary. The fact of the matter is that diabetes has very serious symptoms and effects, not the least of which could be blindness or amputation of limbs. Perhaps that’s what he meant by loss of flesh.

And, lest you think that Warner’s Diabetes Cure would resolve all of you symptoms, think again. As Warner pointed out “Don’t use Safe Diabetes Cure for kidney disorders – use only Warner’s SAFE Cure, a different compound.” I have included portions of the 1888 Warner’s Artist’s Album that discusses the Diabetes Cure as well as a labelled bottle and the Rochester and Dundein Diabetes Cures.

11 thoughts on “Warner’s Safe Diabetes Cure

  1. There are two forms of diabetis
    1. diabetis mellitus which is the one the lay public know as diabetis which is a disease involving the problems with excessive sugar in the blood which is controlled by diet, tablets or insulin and soon to be controlled by stem cells.
    2. diabetis insipidis which involves an over production/excreation urine,polyuria, (nearly the consistency of water) from the body which is controlled by drugs which supress the excess production of urine.

  2. Peter,

    Thanks for the clarification. Are those what are sometimes called Type 1 and Type 2? I suspect that Warner’s Diabetes Cure would have had no effect on either variety.


    • No,diabetis mellitis, as we call diabetis, is divided into type 1 (insulin dependant) and type 2 (non insulin independant). Diabetis insipidus is just diabetis insipidus and you need different medication for treatment with nothing to do with insulin, diet or medication which reduces blood sugar as the problem is not to do with raised blood sugar. Chalk and cheese situation.
      Usually type 1 is generally in younger people and type 2 is with older people who are overweight.But Type 1 and 2 can occur in any age group and you don’t have to be overweight plus type 2, to make matters more complicated, you can get type 2 advancing to insulin dependancy type.
      These days we simply say non insulin dependant diabetis(NIDDM) or insulin dependant diabetis(IDDM).
      It is just like warner’s safe cure bottles in that thereare many variations in the colour of the same bottle.
      You are correct with the Warners safe cure mixture it did absolutely nothing to help the treatment other than to make the seller of the product very rich.

      • Actually, the “clarification” of DM is slightly wrong; Type 1 is autoimmune and Type 2 is insulin-resistant. All type 2s end up being insulin-dependant in time; I know, it happened to my late mother and it’s also happened to me.

        There are also at least two other types of DM; LADA (aka Type 1.5) and gestational.

  3. SorryRobert, you are incorrect about Type 1 being autoimmune this is not always the case and also type 2 is not always insulin resistant and all NIDDM types don’t go on to be insulin injections. Medical diagnosis are not always black and white as you read in the papers. I probably have a very good idea about diabetis as I have treated 1,000’s of diabetic patients in my medical time.I am still treating 100’s of NIDDM and IDM patients. Gestational diabetis only occurs in pregnancy and doesn’t always pose problems later on in life.

  4. The word cure meant something different in those days. If you urinated a lot, and this stopped it, it was a cure. It did not cure the underlying disease, but it did cure the symptoms as long as you kept taking it. Diabetes was first diagnosed in ancient Greece as a disease whose symptoms were a large amount of urine that attracted flies. By the time this was marketed things had not changed. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the concept of high blood sugar, what it did, and why it happened was discovered.
    As for it working, without seeing the formula, we can only speculate. For example if it contained goat’s rue, it would have worked for what we now call type II diabetes. The active ingredient in goat’s rue is sold today as metformin, and for many type II diabetics it does cure them in the sense that it lowers their blood sugar., which reduces their urination and the amount of sugar in the urine. So in the 1890’s they would have been considered cured.
    Today we have a different understanding of diabetes, and no longer consider a temporary reduction in the symptoms a cure.

    • Very good points Geoff. Warner also sold a Diabetes Cure, but without understanding the cause of the disease, it is, as you point out, difficult to treat it.

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