Let’s just say it: ketchup is awesome. It can make anything and everything taste better, no matter what, and it has been the go-to condiment on picnics for a long time.
Now consider this: would you eat ketchup if you weren’t feeling too good?
Today’s Snapple fact is that “Ketchup was once sold as a medicine.”
Back in the 18th century ketchup was a lot different from what we put on our hamburgers and hot dogs. To start, it wasn’t made out of tomatoes. Instead there were different recipes around for ketchup made out of mushrooms, walnuts, and even fish. Not as tasty, but not bad for a cooking sauce.
Then sometime in the early 1800s people started to realize that tomatoes were actually pretty tasty and not poisonous. This resulted in the starting recipes of tomato ketchup. Eventually came Henry J. Heinz and the rest is history when it comes to the formation of the ketchup we know and love.
In the 1830s Dr. John Cook Bennett encouraged Archibald Miles to sell ketchup medicine called “Dr. Mill’s Compound Extract of Tomato.” The medicine was claimed to be able to cure indigestion and was sold in a pill form, and it was a huge success.
This success lead to other people selling ketchup pills, claiming they were essentially miracle cures. Most of those pills were hoaxes however, not even having any tomatoes in them. Eventually the market collapsed and the whole ketchup-pills business was over and done with by the 1840s.
So with that said, can ketchup be used as a medicine? While it may not be wise to have some ketchup when it comes to acid reflux, there are other benefits to having tomato ketchup. According to studies, ketchup can help reduce the risk of cancer, reduce cholesterol, and improve eyesight.
Who would’ve thought there was so much that went behind a delicious condiment?
Verdict: True. Tomato ketchup was once sold as a medicine, and while it didn’t last long, there are still health benefits to it.