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Blue Mass

Definition and usage of the phrase "blue mass"

Alright, I admit, this isn’t exactly an idiom, but I’m hoping you’ll forgive me.


One of the most common prescriptions in the Georgian era was called “blue mass.” The doctor would hand you a bottle of about 100 pills, recommend you take a minimum of 2-3 per day, and send you on your way. When you opened the bottle, you would find little blue pills awaiting to cure all your ills, from hunger to melancholy.

Much like the arsenic and lead in cosmetics, the mercury in these little blue pills was much sought after.

And much like the arsenic and lead, the side effects of mercury were well worth the cure-all it offered, such minor side effects including madness, excessive drooling, fits of rage, disintegration of skin and tissue, tremors, insomnia, anxiety, paranoia, tooth decay, gum recession, and so forth. If you thought blue mass was right for you, you needed only contact your primary care physician.



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