Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rev. Edgar Ward's miraculous Kuranui cure

Rev Edgar Ward served as Anglican minister to the Church of the Ascension in Pt Chevalier during the 1920s-1930s. I found the following articles in Papers Past while gathering up material for the Point Chevalier Times. I'll let them speak for themselves.

(Special to "The Evening Post")
Claiming to have discovered a medicine which has cured scores of cases of tuberculosis, an Auckland clergyman has obtained the permission of Archbishop Averill to distribute the compound to sufferers anywhere at practically no cost. The Rev Edgar Ward, vicar of the Church of the Ascension at Point Chevalier, makes the claim. The medicine, he says, has effected so many cures during the past three years that there can be no question as to its efficaciousness, in the majority of cases. “If I were not thoroughly convinced I should maintain silence, for it would be very wrong to raise the hopes of sufferers wantonly, only to dash them to the ground. My medicine has been used with great success, and is still being used extensively by a medical practitioner who is a member of the British Medical Association. This doctor practises among the Maoris, many of whom suffer from consumption of the lungs." 

Mr Ward said he did not propose to make profits, either for himself or for his church, from the distribution of the medicine. However, he did not intend to disclose the recipe. For one thing it would be useless to a lay person unskilled in dispensing. Mr Ward is a qualified pharmaceuticist, and makes up the medicine himself. It is a compound of certain mineral salts used extensively by one school of the medical profession in Europe, and a herb that grows freely in New Zealand, and which, while having no specific action on tubercle baccilus, has remarkable tonic properties. All the ingredients are easy to procure, and the medicine is harmless.

Mr Ward says he would make the medicine free of charge if he could, but he finds he must have to make a small charge to meet out-of-pocket expenses. "If I were to give the prescription away, I fear it would be commercialised, and I wish to avoid that." 
Evening Post 5 December 1929

(By Telegraph.)
(Special to "The Evening Post.')
An undertaking to discuss with an expert his formula and treatment claimed to be a cure for tuberculosis, was given to the Minister of Health to-day by the Rev Edgar Ward, Vicar of the Church of the Ascension, Point Chevalier. 

Since the publication of the report last week Mr Ward has received numerous requests for supplies of the medicine, from as far away as Buenos Aires and one from England containing a large order.

Following a communication from the Director-General of Health, Mr. Ward interviewed the Minister this morning, and informed him that two and a half years ago he had consulted the Health Department in reference to the treatment. The Department failed to follow up the matter; indeed, it gave him no encouragement whatever, and declined to discuss the matter further till he had offered conclusive proof of the efficacy of the treatment. The Minister expressed surprise on hearing Mr Ward's statement and asked if he would be prepared to discuss the details of the formula and treatment with the superintendent of a sanatorium. Mr. Ward said he would be prepared to do that, providing all the proceedings were regarded as strictly confidential. The assurance was given by Mr. Stallworthy that secrecy would be observed, and said that the necessary steps would be taken immediately. Mr. Ward will probably place the formula and treatment before a specialist next week.
Evening Post 9 December 1929

(By Telegraph.)
(Special to "The Evening Post.")
Replying to the comments of the Department of Health on his preparation for the treatment of tuberculosis, the Rev Edgar Ward says: "With reference to the statement that the herb used by me is not known to possess any qualities other than sedative, I wish to say that if the Department asserts in the face of evidence that the herb pomaderris eliptica if properly collected, prepared, and administered, does not possess remarkable medical qualities, the Department is merely being absurd."

Mr Ward says, moreover, that the quality of being a sedative is markedly absent.

Commenting on the statement that his preparation is being analysed by the Department, he says that his arrangement with the Minister was to disclose his formula to Dr. McLean, of the Pukeora Sanatorium. His condition for doing this was that the Department should guarantee his out of pocket expenses. It would seem that the Department was unwilling to fulfil the condition and was trying to obtain the formula without reference to himself. The analysis would, therefore, be quite useless.

Evening Post 11 January 1930

(By Telegraph.—Press Association)
The Rev Edgar Ward, who has a specific which he believes exceedingly beneficial in tuberculosis cases, has decided to submit it for trial under the auspices of the British Medical Association under certain conditions. He has broken off negotiations with the Health Department, declaring himself "utterly disillusioned.”

Evening Post 11 February 1930

Replying to a statement by the Rev Edgar Ward, the Hon A J Stallworthy, Minister of Health, said that Mr. Ward had been given every opportunity to prove his bona fides in relation to his claimed cure for tuberculosis. It was not the fault of the Department or the Minister that up to the present Mr. Ward had not fulfilled his undertaking, but of Mr. Ward himself.

"From the moment Mr. Ward interviewed me at Auckland," said Mr. Stallworthy, "I promptly did all that was reasonably possible to secure for him a fair and unbiased trial of his claimed remedy under responsible medical men." There was no truth at all in a statement made that a paltry financial consideration stood in the way of giving the claimed remedy a trial. The medical superintendent to whom Mr Ward definitely promised to disclose his formula had not yet received it. To another medical man named to him by the Minister he had disclosed his formula, but had failed to send a supply of the medicine, as definitely promised in writing to the Minister. At least this was the position up to his leaving Wellington.

Mr Stallworthy said that he was still awaiting replies to his last two communications to Mr Ward. When he interviewed the Minister at Auckland, Mr Ward definitely refused to listen to the suggestion of the Director-General to submit his medicine to the test of three members of the British Medical Association. To the Minister's alternative suggestion already referred to, he definitely agreed. He did not produce one single example of the claimed efficacy of his medicine. Ho refused to name one medical man to whom the Department might refer for evidence. However, because of the unfortunately premature but wide publicity he had received in the Dominion and overseas Press, the Minister felt that it was due to the public that a fair and unbiased trial should, if possible, be made, but until Mr Ward made his formula and treatment available it was impossible to accomplish this. If no replies to the Minister's last two communications awaited him on his return to Wellington, the whole correspondence would be handed to the Press.

Mr Stallworthy said that, as he had notified Mr. Ward last week, another medicine, claimed to be based on a previous discovery of the medicinal properties of the main ingredient of his claimed remedy, the herb Pomaderris Elliptica, was being professionally tested. In this case the fullest information regarding the treatment and cases treated had been given.
Evening Post 12 February 1930

The Rev Edgar Ward, of Point Chevalier, Auckland, writes to "The Post”: “The Minister of Health having publicly stated that the breakdown of the negotiations between his Department and myself for an official trial of my treatment of tuberculosis is entirely my fault, I send you here a copy of the correspondence relating thereto.”

Publicity has already been given to most of the correspondence, and to the conditions specified by Mr Ward. Under date 17th January, Mr Ward wrote to the Minister withdrawing his offer to submit his treatment for trial under the auspices of the Health Department. After further correspondence, Mr Ward, under date 12th February, wrote:

"The withdrawal of my offer contained in my letter of 17th January must stand, but I will meet you so far as to add after the words 'under the auspices of your Department,' the words 'as at present constituted.' "

In answer to a question as to the present position and the correspondence between himself and Mr Ward, the Minister of Health (Hon A J Stallworthy) stated today that on the 14th February he wrote to Mr. Ward: "For my part, no financial consideration was a bar to the trial of your treatment, upon the terms agreed to at our first personal interview. I was, and still am, simply waiting for you to honour your promise to disclose your formula, to Dr. Maclean (medical superintendent of Pukeora Santorium), to enable him to report as to whether the Department would be justified in proceeding further with the suggested trial, and any expense that might be involved. The Minister remarked today that there was at present being made a fair medical trial of the medicine supplied by Mr Ward, and since that was going on he had nothing more to add.

Evening Post 10 March 1930

The TB cure gained a brand name: "Kuranui". Rev Ward was now in business.

ASTHMA, TB, distributers Rev Edgar Ward's Treatment. Kuranui, Box 1613. Tel. 50-909.
Evening Post 6 June 1932

KURANUI TREATMENT. EDGAR WARD'S Famous Kuranui for Asthma, Catarrh, T.B., Bronchitis. Expert advice given free at Clinic, Dwan's Bldgs.. over Woolworth's. Willis Street.

Evening Post 9 June 1934
Then, in 1935, Rev Ward passed away.

Auckland. — The death has occurred at Mt. Albert of the Rev. Edgar Ward, formerly vicar of Point Chevalier. Mr. Ward was in his 71st year, and was ordained deacon and priest in 1900. From 1909 to 1919 he was vicar of Waierenga-a-hika, and later held cures at Matawai, Putaruru and Kaitaia. Mr. Ward is survived by his wife, to whom sincere sympathy is extended.
Waiapu Church Gazette 1 September 1935

His "Kuranui" though outlived its creator. I've seen advertisements in newspapers on both sides of the Tasman, downn to at least the early 1950s. The TB cure bit, though, was dropped.

Successfully treated with THE REV " EDGAR WARD'S "KURANUI."
During the nine years that have elapsed since Kuranui was first introduced to .the public the remarkable, results that have been achieved have placed its effectiveness in the treatment of ASTHMA AND HAY FEVER beyond dispute. The chemists at the MADDOX PHARMACY, 84 Lambton Quay, Telephone 44-966, will be pleased to advise about this successful herbal treatment; a free booklet will be dispatched immediately upon the receipt of a telephone or letter request.
Evening Post 31 October 1939

The legend, however, lives on. From this site:

"Rev. Edgar Ward, a Pharmacist from Kaitaia around the turn of the century, made a remedy using both Kumarahou and Koromoko and claimed to have cured not only Asthma but also several people suffering from Tuberculosis."

Image details from advertisement, Evening Post 1 June 1940

1 comment:

  1. Is this remedy or similar still available anywhere?
    How will i know if you answer this. Will i be notified.
    Thank you