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Darwin Correspondence Project

From G. C. Oxenden   27 September [1862]1


Sept 27—

Dear Sir

I rather think that the “Ozonised Fluid” is a very clean, pure, neat solution of the

Per-manganate of Soda—2

So small a dose as 10 drops, could not, by possibility, produce any appreciable effect whatever, save & except a sensation of purity in the mouth & Tongue

—You should, at the Outset, take a Teaspoonful of the Fluid in a full Wine glass of Water, four or five times a day, or even more often—3

—Then, in a fortnight, increase the dose of Fluid to a Dessert Spoonful, in a large Wine-glass of Water—& stick at this for a Month—by which time you will surely know & feel whether you are the better for it—

—In no case, can it by possibility do any harm— —& ultimately, it might be used as daily diet Drinks, (in lieu of Beer or claret,) well diluted with Water

—It does not in any way impede digestion—but, as a rule, it is best to take it upon an Empty, or half-empty Stomach— —(which rule applies to every description of Medecine)—

—I myself take it with avidity, as a matter of luxury, just as I wd. use Eau de Cologne—or Soda Water—

—I conceive this Ozonised Fluid to be quite capable of arresting, & preventing, Diarrhœa, but I have never tried it—nor had need—

—Lastly, I believe the cheaper, stronger, preparation of the same (sold by every Chemist) will be found eminently sanative & prophylactic, (by absorption) if largely added to the Water of a tepid Bath, & especially in, & after, Fever—.

—If anything farther strikes me, I will write— | Your’s sincerely | G. Chichester Oxenden


The year is established by the references to Condy’s ‘Ozonized Fluid’ (see n. 3, below).
Condy’s ‘Ozonized Fluid’ was a solution of alkaline permanganates developed by Henry Bollmann Condy, and used ‘for the purification of air and water, and sanitary objects in general’ (Condy 1862, p. 69).
Oxenden first mentioned Condy’s ‘Ozonized Fluid’ to CD in his letter of 21 June 1862, recommending it for the external treatment of Leonard Darwin, then suffering from scarlet fever. However, in his letter of 17 September [1862], Oxenden also recommended its use as a ‘pleasant daily diet drink’. In his letter to J. D. Hooker, 10–12 November [1862], CD mentioned that he had been taking ‘a tea-spoon in water 3 or 4 times. a day’ with, he thought, ‘extraordinary advantage’.


Thinks "ozonised fluid" is a pure solution of permanganate of soda. Sends dosage.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Chichester Oxenden
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Broome Canterbury
Source of text
DAR 173.2: 60
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3740,” accessed on 17 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10