Dessicated Liver Tablets

Desiccated Liver Tablets

My mother was ahead of her time.  She understood health and nutrition like few did back in the 1970s when I was growing up.  She went to classes and read books, she cooked clean healthy foods, and she bought an assortment of nutritious supplements for our family.  There was a whole bin in our kitchen full of jars of things she wanted us to take and a huge container of chalky protein powder for milkshakes that made us gag.  We swallowed vitamins (2 green and 1 white) daily, along with an assortment of other supplements to help us stay strong and healthy.

My brothers and I were pretty serious athletes back then.  We swam and played water polo for high school and club teams.  We worked out a lot and were strong from all the manual labor we did on the farm.  I could bench press more than any other girl in the high school when I was there.

When I left for BYU in 1977 and took my first required P. E. class,  “Fitness for Life” we had to take some baseline strength tests at the beginning of the semester.  When I scored higher than all the boys in my class on the grip strength test, the professor assumed the grip machine had broken and he made me squeeze it over and over until he realized I really was that strong.  Seeing the boys’ reactions to this, I vowed never to arm wrestle a boy, knowing I would most likely win, and if word got out, it would spoil any chances for future dating.

One of the infamous supplements in the bin was Dessicated Liver.  These tablets came in big dark brown bottles from a company called Manna Vita.  These liver pills were NASTY, but they were supposed to help with muscle growth and strength, so we took them.  In today’s world there are all sorts of fine-tasting power drinks and shakes and supplements, but we had none of those then.  Just the liver tablets.

When I was in high school, I took 15-30 liver pills each day.  Because they were so horrible, I learned to swallow 15 at a time. It’s one of my skills, and swallowing pills has never been a problem for me.  My husband, John, flinches at swallowing one large pill.  I can swallow a whole handful.  You fill your mouth with a normal gulp of water, hold it there, tip your head back, drop in the handful of pills of any shape or size, and then swallow the water and pills together.  As you do this, you lower the back of your tongue, relax your throat, and it all goes down easily.  With the liver pills, you had to hold your nose at the same time.

I went online this morning to see if you could still buy liver pills.  They are still there.  And serious athletes still take them.  I laughed my way through all the reviews of the pills from various companies.  Memories of the horrible smell and taste of those big brown pills came right back to me.  I am almost tempted to buy a bottle for my kids to try so I can tell them, “When I was a kid, this is what we had to endure. . . .”

Here are a few of the comments made by those who have purchased these pills:

These tablets are big and smelly…they smell like grave dirt, I like to joke. They stink out my whole pill box and make me grimace each time I have one, albeit only for a few seconds. (Do-able for me though, unlike actually eating liver!)

They’re big chalky pills, the kind that you feel like will get stuck in your throat and choke you.

Really bad tasting.

The pills are little big but sure beats choking down liver from the fry pan!

Hard for kids to swallow.

I never have trouble swallowing pills, I usually swallow five at once but the shape and texture of these pills cause me to gag even when swallowing only one.

I was hoping to use this product to help alleviate my anemia. I was pleased it didn’t upset my stomach the way iron tablets did, but the smell was so strong it was difficult to force myself to swallow the tablets. So it is a toss up for me, take iron and have an upset stomach from one little tablet or take three big pills of desiccated liver that smell so bad they make me nauseous before swallowing.

The smell assaults you when you open the bottle, so I quickly grab out 4 or 5 and put the lid back on. A couple of tablets in the hand don’t smell too bad. The tablets are big.

I had a couple of mild ‘liver burps’ the first time or two I took them.

These pills stink and yes they’re rather large, but I wasn’t going for taste or smell when I ordered them. They’re fabulous in that they reduce muscle tension.  (I run a lot) and they can also stand as a substitute when I don’t have enough time to catch a meal.

It gets some getting used to the smell, but if you’re a hard gainer, there’s nothing that will stop you.

First let me just say that one container of 500 will last you until the 2nd coming. I’ve had this for a very long time, and I still haven’t finished the first container.

Warning- These things are HUGE tablets. Swallowing one is not an easy task, much less so when doing 3-6 consecutively.

I would have loved to try the product but they are the size of golf balls. Purchase only if you can swallow entire meatballs without chewing.

I think of those liver pills every time I swallow a handful of something in hopes it will keep me healthy and strong.  I haven’t taken liver pills in years, but maybe I took enough then to keep me going now.   So far I’m still going strong!

About annlaemmlenlewis

I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am currently serving as a Missionary in the Washington Yakima Mission. Welcome to my personal blog, Ann's Words, and my Mission blog, Our Yakima Mission. If you are interested in family history stories and histories, you can find those posted in Ann's Stories. Thanks for looking in!
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