Eno (drug)

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Eno is an over-the-counter antacid brand, produced by GlaxoSmithKline. Its main ingredients are sodium bicarbonate, and citric acid; it is sometimes used for cooking, too.[1][2]


Eno was first marketed by James Crossley Eno (1827–1915).[3] Legend says that his idea for the product arose while he was working at the pharmacy of an infirmary in Newcastle where Dennis Embleton worked, and that Embleton often prescribed an effervescent drink made by mixing sodium bicarbonate and citric acid in water, and that Eno adopted this beverage from Embleton.[4] However, Eno opened a pharmacy where he made the mixture in 1852, a year before Embleton came to work at the infirmary, and such fruit salt mixtures were common at the time.[4]


Eno gave away his branded mixture to sea captains at the port, and in this way Eno's became a brand known around the world. By 1865 he had to move to a bigger facility, and he formally founded the company Eno's "Fruit Salt" Works in 1868.[4][5][6]:253 In 1878 Eno moved the business to Hatcham where the factory employed 50 people by 1884.[7]

Eno was advertised heavily, as all patent medicines were at that time.[4] In 1883 it was advertised as a cure for cholera[8] and in 1892 for "keeping blood pure and free from disease", prevention of diarrhea, and many other conditions.[9] By 1928 the company had factories in England, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and the US; that year the company was acquired by International Proprietaries, a company that had been established by Canadian businessman Harold F. Ritchie.[6]:253 International Proprietaries was eventually renamed Eno, and in 1938 the business was bought by Beecham[6]:253 for its products as well as its international marketing force.[10] As the pharmaceutical industry transitioned from selling cure-all patent medicines to selling drugs in the 1950s, Eno was one of a handful of products that were retained in the industry.[11]:154


  1. ^ "Eno's Fruit Salt". The Quack Doctor. 17 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Eno - Summary of Product Characteristics at eMC". Electronic Medicines Compendium. Retrieved 2 September 2016. Last updated 1 January 2016
  3. ^ "James Crossley Eno". Geni.
  4. ^ a b c d W. A. Campbell (June, 1966) James Crossley Eno and the Rise of the Health Salts Trade. University of Newcastle Upon Tyne Medical Gazette 60(3):350 Reprinted as an appendix to W. A. Campbell. The Analytical Chemist In Nineteenth Century English Social History Thesis presented for the degree of Master of Letters in the University of Durham. Newcastle upon Tyne July 1971
  5. ^ Russell, edited by Colin A. (1999). Chemistry, society and environment : a new history of the British chemical industry. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 137. ISBN 9780854045990.
  6. ^ a b c Wilkins, Mira (2004). The history of foreign investment in the United States, 1914-1945. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674045187.
  7. ^ Dews, Nathan (1884). The History of Deptford (2nd ed.). Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. pp. 273–274.
  8. ^ Kotar, S.L.; Gessler, J.E. (2014). Cholera a worldwide history. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 242. ISBN 9781476613642.
  9. ^ Advertisement for ENO. The Sunday Magazine, Collected issues of 1892. Strahan & Company, p 892. Quote: "Drawing an Overdraft on the Bank of Life. Late Hours, Fagged, Unnatural Excitement, Breathing Impure Air, too Rich Food, Alcoholic Drink, Gouty, Rheumatic, and other Blood Poisons, Fevers, Feverish Colds, Influenza, Sleeplessness, Biliousness, Sick Headache, Skin Eruptions, Pimples on the Face, Want of Appetite, Sourness of Stomach, etc. It prevents Diarrhoea, and removes it in the early stages. Use ENO's "FRUIT SALT" It is Pleasant, Cooling, Health-Giving, Refreshing, and Invigorating. You cannot overstate its great value in keeping the Blood Pure and free from Disease. TO ALL LEAVING HOME FOR A CHANGE. - Don't go without a bottle of ENO's "FRUIT SALT". It prevents any over-acid state of the blood. It should be kept in every bedroom, in readiness for any emergency. Be careful to avoid rash acidulated salines, and use ENO's "FRUIT SALT" to prevent the bile becoming too thick and (impure) producing a gummy, viscous, clammy stickiness or adhesiveness in the mucous membrane or the intestinal canal, frequently the pivot of diarrhoea and disease. ENO's "FRUIT SALT" prevents and removes diarrhoea in the early stages. Without such a simple precaution the jeopardy of life is immensely increased. There is no doubt that where it has been taken in the earliest stages of a disease it has in many instances prevented what would otherwise have been a severe illness."
  10. ^ Tedlow, Richard S.; Jones, Geoffrey G. (2014). The Rise and Fall of Mass Marketing (RLE Marketing) Volume 25 of Routledge Library Editions: Marketing. Routledge. pp. 110–111. ISBN 9781317663010.
  11. ^ Crellin, John K. (2004). A social history of medicines in the twentieth century : to be taken three times a day (Reprint. ed.). New York: Pharmaceutical Products Press. ISBN 9780789018458.