The Great Herbal Balm ‘Zam-Buk’ Tin
Zam-Buk is a healing antiseptic ointment or embrocation that was advertised to help soothe and heal: cuts, bruises, burns, scalds, sprains, piles, pimples, eczema, leg, sores, ulcers, ringworm, chapped hands, sores, insect bites, chafing, chilblains, rheumatism, and cold sores. Zam-Buk had several formulas but was sold with antimicrobial and analgesic properties from ingredients like camphor and eucalyptus oil.
The origins of Zam-Buk can be traced back to the early 1990s and was founded by Charles Edward Fulford of Leeds, England. The geneses of the products name, Zam-Buk, is unknown but is believed by some to have its roots from a town in South Africa. However, this theory remains unproven.
The ‘Zam-Buk’ name and product acquired widespread recognition and popularity from its original use on rugby and football pitches in Australia and New Zealand. First aid officers would apply the antiseptic to injured players, cleansing their wounds and eliminating the chances of infection. The term ‘Zam-Buk’ would come to mean the first aid officers, rather than the treatment itself. The ointment was used extensively in the sporting world and was advertised as being “unequalled for sportsman.”
This cure-all balm found itself on Canadian pharmacy shelves circa 1903, and sold with great success. Manufacturing efforts discontinued in 1998.