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Product typePatent medicine

Sanatogen was a "brain tonic" invented by the Bauer Chemical Company, in Germany in 1898 and sold worldwide[1]

In the US it was advertised as a "nerve revitaliser". The medicine was prohibited in Australia in 1915 during World War I and a British-made substitute "Sanagen" was introduced to the Australian market the following year, claiming to be "identical to Sanatogen". The product became fashionable in China in the early 20th century and won the favour of many renowned people.[1]

The indications or uses for this product provided by the manufacturer were: "Food tonic. A concentrated nutrient with tonic properties. It is very easily digested and absorbed and is recommended as an effective means of reinforcing the daily diet of anaemic and convalescent patients, including children, and in cases of weakness and exhaustion from overwork or illness."[2]

Product information[edit]

The ingredients have been described as:


The product was marketed extensively in Europe and the US with such slogans as "Endorsed by over 20,000 Physicians".[3]

Court case[edit]

In 1913 the product was at the centre of a United States Supreme Court case: Bauer & Cie. v. O'Donnell.

Other products[edit]

The Sanatogen brand persists in the UK as a fortified wine, with an alcohol content of 15%.[4]

Sanatogen is also the name of a modern multivitamin product manufactured by Fisons before being sold to Bayer[5] which has been claimed to be dyed with harmful additives.[6]


  1. ^ a b Pei-yin Lin and Weipin Tsai (eds) (2014), Print, Profit, and Perception: Ideas, Information and Knowledge in Chinese Societies, 1895-1949, Brill Academic Pub, ISBN 978-9004259102, pp.128-135 [1]
  2. ^ a b "Sanatogen - National Museum of American History". Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  3. ^ Everybody's Magazine, Vol, XXXVVII, No. 5, May 1918, p.111, [2]
  4. ^ "Sanatogen Tonic Wine Original 70Cl". Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Sanatogen®". Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Best-selling Sanatogen vitamin pills are dyed with harmful additives". The Independent. Retrieved 24 September 2014.

External links[edit]