No single product is recommended by Cayce more often in health readings or included in treatments and for such a wide variety of conditions than Glyco-Thymoline. This multi-purpose red mouthwash, antiseptic, and alkalizing cleansing solution is referenced in an astonishing 762 health readings—over a hundred more times than castor oil, which comes in second place, and several hundred more times than such popular staples of the Cayce home apothecary as iodine, limewater, and Epsom salts. Given this product’s elevated status in the readings, I recently stopped in Owings Mills, Maryland, to chat with Robert Owen, the fourth-generation owner of the Kress and Owen Company, producer of Glyco-Thymoline for the past 124 years.
A handsome southerner in his mid-50s, Owen looks the model of good health. What else would one expect from someone who grew up using Glyco-Thymoline for mouthwash and practically everything else? “I don’t ever remember a time when a bottle of Glyco wasn’t in the bathroom cabinet, and in the kitchen, dining room, pantry, and practically everywhere else,” Owen says. “Our family still has Uncle Owen’s hand-written century-old notes when he and his partner were refining the secret formula.”
Over a dinner of Maryland crab cakes, Owen explained how his great-great-great uncle, New York pharmacist Samuel Owen, with physician-partner Oscar Kress, used glycerin, eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, pine oil, and other natural ingredients to create a product they believed would make the perfect wash for irritated or infected eyes. Back then—in 1890—the red compound, which took five days to produce, was sold with a handy spoon-shaped applicator so that the users could more comfortably bathe their eyes. The product’s oral health benefits didn’t become apparent for another four years. That’s when Glyco-Thymoline—the world’s first commercially produced mouthwash—was born. Among its most noticeable benefits was its ability to soothe sore gums, heal nasal cavities, reduce throat irritations, and prevent or minimize canker sores. Demand for the product steadily increased and production shifted from a lower Manhattan Fulton Street pharmacy laboratory to a Pearl Street manufacturing plant, close to where Thomas Edison established his first electrical power plant. By 1901, Glyco-Thymoline was available in both Great Britain and Canada, and within five years was selling as far away as India, New Zealand, and the Philippines. Glyco-Thymoline tooth powder and lozenges were successfully introduced in 1915, and by the 1920s, when New York celebrity physiotherapist Harold Reilly began promoting the Cayce health recommendations to such luminaries as Mickey Rooney, Bob Hope, and Marilyn Monroe, the company was running full-page ads in Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping.
Then, as today, Owen and Kress make very modest claims about their product’s benefits. Glyco-Thymoline is sold as a mouthwash that eliminates bad breath, reduces oral acidity, and is extremely gentle and soothing on gums. According to Bruce Baar (the official Cayce products distributor), Glyco-Thymoline is gentle enough to use on a baby’s skin.
The Cayce readings provide a more robust catalog of Glyco-Thymoline’s benefits. Most frequently used in combination with other treatments, the product is recommended in readings for ailments which include cardiovascular disease, catarrh (mucous build up and inflammation of the mucous membranes), colitis, dropsy (edema or swelling), poor eliminations, incoordination, cirrhosis of the liver, lumbago (lower back pain), prolapses (of organs), toxemia, engorged heart, hemorrhoids, herpes simplex (cold sores), hives, hypertension, hypotension, impaction, Parkinson’s disease, and pelvic disorders. There’s even a reading in which it is recommended for hypochondria. It should be noted, however, that there does not appear to be anything exceptionally special about Glyco-Thymoline itself, as other commercial formulations, completely different in chemical composition, were sometimes offered as substitutes.
The primary benefit—as given in approximately 76% of the readings referencing the product—is as an internal cleanser to help bring an over-acidified body back into proper pH balance. According to a long-time A.R.E. health practitioner, its magic comes from Cayce’s knowledge that the pH balance of the body is crucial to good health and that Glyco-Thymoline is the next best thing, besides diet, to keep the correct balance. For this application, Cayce recommended adding 2 drops of Glyco-Thymoline to half a glass of water and drinking it before going to bed at night. Depending on the degree of over-acidity to be corrected, Cayce recommended increasing the dosage to as many as 15 drops or until the distinct odor of Glyco-Thymoline is detected in the stool.
Cayce also recommended Glyco-Thymoline as a mild antiseptic in a variety of packs, douches, and colonic solutions. When used in a pack, the preferred method is to place two or three thicknesses of well-saturated cotton cloth applied over the affected area for 20 or 30 minutes or longer. In some cases, but not always, the pack is to be warmed with a heating pad. The only rule is that the pack is not to be applied when the Glyco-Thymoline is cold to the touch. (Glyco-Thymoline along with cotton, wool, and disposable packs are available from the official Cayce supplier—Baar Products)
Other popular applications were to massage it on arthritic joints and, as pharmacists Kress and Owen initially discovered, as an eyewash, and then for oral hygiene. One-part Glyco-Thymoline to two-parts water, or full strength if desired, was recommended as a mouthwash to combat bad breath (and it can also be used to clean dentures).
Today, Glyco-Thymoline is no longer produced in New York. In 1952 manufacturing facilities moved to Middleton, N.J., and in 1990, Robert Owen’s father moved the company to Atlanta, Ga. In 2016 Robert brought the headquarters to Maryland, where he grew up. Despite the moves, the same family oversees the business; ownership is shared by the Owen children, Patti, Bob, and Bill. And most important for A.R.E. members, who are Kress and Owen’s most loyal customers, the product is manufactured with the same ingredients and in the same way as it was produced more than century ago. The only new introductions are a leak-proof cap and a colorless version, in addition to the traditional red product.
*Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This Product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Sidney Kirkpatrick is an award-winning filmmaker and international best-selling author. His critically acclaimed non-fiction books include A Cast of Killers, Turning the Tide, and Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet. This article is reprinted with permission by Venture Inward Newsletter, Virginia Beach, VA.