Instead, the medicinal compound most efficacious in every case here is Amol - and it is just as unknown in the UK as TCP is in Poland. But so much more pleasant than TCP - in smell as well as taste. Rather than the phenolic stench of TCP, Amol possesses a fresh, mentholated scent; it contains cinnamon, peppermint, clove, citronella, melissa and lemon oil mixed with 67% alcohol.
The German term for Amol is Heilkräutergeist or spirit of medicinal herbs; it is meant to have been devised by Carmelite monks centuries ago - indeed some tell of it being used on the Crusades.
Amol cures everything from colds, headaches, muscle pains, insect bites, bloating and dyspepsia. And online, you'll find that it can be used to cure dozens of other maladies. Every babcia swears by it - Amol is the nearest thing you can get to a universal panacea.
I use it in the sauna; 15 to 20 drops onto the heated rocks; each one sizzles on contact evaporating instantly. Breathing in the vapour is very pleasant as it penetrates your respiratory system.
After 17 years, I too have ceased to see the sense of TCP and prefer Amol for all petty ailments. Interestingly enough, this medicinal compound of German origin is now manufactured by a Japanese pharmaceutical company in Poland - Takeda Pharma (which acquired the previous manufacturer, Nycomed). Worth taking a look at the website www.amol.pl, which has some amusing ads in English, German and Polish going back to 1907.
Above: by appointment to His Holiness, Pope Pius X. Pre-WWI ad (Pius X died in 1914, the price is quoted in pfennigs) Then as now, universal panaceas have always sold well. Priced at 29.95 złotys for a 250ml bottle.
This time last year:
Of taxis, deflation, crisis and strikes
This time two years ago:
Lent starts again
This time three years ago:
This time four years ago:
A month before Spring Equinox
This time five years ago:
The beauty of winter
[some of my finest winter photos]