Abraham Lincoln's Blue Pills: Did Our 16th President Suffer from Mercury Poisoning?

  title={Abraham Lincoln's Blue Pills: Did Our 16th President Suffer from Mercury Poisoning?},
  author={Norbert Hirschhorn and Robert G. Feldman and Ian Greaves},
  journal={Perspectives in Biology and Medicine},
  pages={315 - 332}
It is well known that Abraham Lincoln took a medicine called "blue mass" or "blue pill," commonly prescribed in the 19th century. What is now hardly known is that the main ingredient of blue mass was finely dispersed elemental mercury. As his friends understood, mercury was often prescribed for melancholy or "hypochondriasis," a condition Lincoln famously endured. Mercury in the form of the blue pill is a potential neurotoxin, which we have demonstrated by recreating and testing the recipe. We… 

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