11 Amazing Benefits of Listerine


Is there anything Listerine can't do? An article from 1888 recommended the product — then primarily a surgical antiseptic — "for sweaty feet, and soft corns, developing between the toes." But that was only the beginning. Here are some of the many claims — some legitimate, some not — associated with the mouthwash over the years.

1. It gets rid of dandruff!

True? Maybe. It’s never been debunked, and many people swear it’s cheaper and more effective than expensive dandruff shampoos. Want to try for yourself? Dump a capful of the original formula and douse your head with it after your shampoo. Let it sit for five minutes, then rinse. Repeat for a week. Make sure you don’t have any sensitive skin or cuts on your scalp, because that’s going to sting a little. Or sting a lot. Or make you cry for your mama.

If your problem is that your rabbit has dandruff, you're in luck. The 1937 ad states, “Rabbits with dandruff were cured of the disease only on the sides which were treated with Listerine.”

2. It fights colds and sore throats!

True? Not so much. Listerine proudly advertised that a quick gargle could help guard against a “mass invasion” of germs until the Federal Trade Commission put a stop to it in 1976. After ruling that Listerine didn’t prevent or alleviate illness, the FTC made the company run a line in the next $10.2 million worth of advertising that said, “Contrary to prior advertising, Listerine will not help prevent colds or sore throats or lessen their severity."

3. It will save women approaching “tragic thirty” from damning spinsterhood.

True? Ummm, no. But here’s a fun fact for you: Listerine is responsible for helping popularize that horrible saying, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” They used the phrase in charming ad that read, in part:

“Edna’s case was really a pathetic one. Like every woman, her primary ambition was to marry. Most of the girls of her set were married – or about to be. Yet not one possessed more grace or charm or loveliness than she. And as her birthdays crept gradually toward that tragic thirty-mark, marriage seemed further from her life than ever. She was often a bridesmaid but never a bride.”

4. It’s as effective as flossing.

True? Unfortunately for those of you who hate jamming small pieces of string down into your gums, this one is false. In 2005, a federal judge’s ruling forced Listerine to hire about 4,000 workers to visit retailers across the country to place stickers over the bottle’s false claim that “Listerine’s as effective as floss at fighting plaque and gingivitis.” That little falsehood, which Listerine said was approved by the American Dental Association, cost the company about $2 million.

5. You can smoke it!

True? Yep. Listerine produced their own brand of cigarettes for a time back in the late ‘20s. They claimed puffing on a Listerine cig gave a "cooling and soothing effect" that was achieved by "impregnating fine tobacco with the antiseptic essential oils used in the manufacture of Listerine.”

6. It inspires vaccines!

True? Indeed. OK, so “Inspires vaccines!” hasn’t been stamped on mouthwash bottles (yet), but in 2008, scientists at Johns Hopkins came up with a vaccine based on Listerine breath strips. Their design was ideal because of their light weight and the way they dissolved quickly – it meant they could be easily transported and swallowed by kids, even infants.

7. It cures that "not so fresh" feeling (and gonorrhea)!

Image via Flickr user Caveman Chuck Coker

True? …No. Just no. Despite claims that it was a great idea to use Listerine on areas with “delicate tissue” because it was gentle enough to “not derange or impair important functions,” mouthwash will not actually stop venereal disease.

8. It keeps flowers fresh!

True? Not even. Real Simple magazine tested this theory to see if the antiseptic would keep bacteria away from flowers they way it keeps bacteria away from your mouth. The verdict? Nope.

9. It’s a great aftershave!

True? Could be. According to ads from the ‘30s, it’s not only the best aftershave you’ll ever use, it also has incredible powers of healing. “You will like it,” one ad insists, before trying a different tactic: “Go ahead and try Listerine this way. We dare you.”

10. It's a great mosquito repellant!

True? Yes, if only for a few seconds. Listerine contains a bit of eucalyptol, a substance that can also be found in commercial bug repellant. But the amount found in Listerine is so minuscule that you’re not going to get much mileage out of it as mosquito killer. Plus, the alcohol content in Listerine is so high that it evaporates quickly. So, yes, Listerine will kill mosquitoes - but on such a limited basis that you’d be much better off buying real bug spray.

11. It will allow you to create beloved children’s characters worth billions!

True? Well, it may not work for you, but it worked out pretty nicely for Pixar. To keep the lights on at the office, Pixar dabbled in advertising. One of their spots for Listerine, “Arrows,” won a Clio Award in 1993. Toy Story came out two years later.

9 Curses for Book Thieves From the Middle Ages and Beyond

It may seem extreme to threaten the gallows for the theft of a book, but that's just one example in the long, respected tradition of book curses. Before the invention of moveable type in the West, the cost of a single book could be tremendous. As medievalist Eric Kwakkel explains, stealing a book then was more like stealing someone’s car today. Now, we have car alarms; then, they had chains, chests … and curses. And since the heyday of the book curse occurred during the Middle Ages in Europe, it was often spiced with Dante-quality torments of hell.

The earliest such curses go back to the 7th century BCE. They appear in Latin, vernacular European languages, Arabic, Greek, and more. And they continued, in some cases, into the era of print, gradually fading as books became less expensive. Here are nine that capture the flavor of this bizarre custom.


A book curse from the Arnstein Bible, circa 1172
A curse in the Arnstein Bible
British Library // Public Domain

The Arnstein Bible at the British Library, written in Germany circa 1172, has a particularly vivid torture in mind for the book thief: “If anyone steals it: may he die, may he be roasted in a frying pan, may the falling sickness [i.e. epilepsy] and fever attack him, and may he be rotated [on the breaking wheel] and hanged. Amen.”


A 15th-century French curse featured by Marc Drogin in his book Anathema! Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses has a familiar "House That Jack Built"-type structure:

“Whoever steals this book
Will hang on a gallows in Paris,
And, if he isn’t hung, he’ll drown,
And, if he doesn’t drown, he’ll roast,
And, if he doesn’t roast, a worse end will befall him.”


A book curse excerpted from the 13th-century Historia scholastica
A book curse from the Historia scholastica
Yale Beinecke Library // Public Domain

In The Medieval Book, Barbara A. Shailor records a curse from Northeastern France found in the 12th-century Historia scholastica: “Peter, of all the monks the least significant, gave this book to the most blessed martyr, Saint Quentin. If anyone should steal it, let him know that on the Day of Judgment the most sainted martyr himself will be the accuser against him before the face of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


Drogin also records this 13th-century curse from a manuscript at the Vatican Library, as notes. It escalates rapidly.

"The finished book before you lies;
This humble scribe don’t criticize.
Whoever takes away this book
May he never on Christ look.
Whoever to steal this volume durst
May he be killed as one accursed.
Whoever to steal this volume tries
Out with his eyes, out with his eyes!"


A book curse from an 11th century lectionary
A book curse from an 11th century lectionary
Beinecke Library // Public Domain

An 11th-century book curse from a church in Italy, spotted by Kwakkel, offers potential thieves the chance to make good: “Whoever takes this book or steals it or in some evil way removes it from the Church of St Caecilia, may he be damned and cursed forever, unless he returns it or atones for his act.”


This book curse was written in a combination of Latin and German, as Drogin records:

"To steal this book, if you should try,
It’s by the throat you’ll hang high.
And ravens then will gather ’bout
To find your eyes and pull them out.
And when you’re screaming 'oh, oh, oh!'
Remember, you deserved this woe."


This 18th-century curse from a manuscript found in Saint Mark’s Monastery, Jerusalem, is written in Arabic: “Property of the monastery of the Syrians in honorable Jerusalem. Anyone who steals or removes [it] from its place of donation will be cursed from the mouth of God! God (may he be exalted) will be angry with him! Amen.”


A book curse in a 17th century manuscript cookbook
A book curse in a 17th century cookbook

A 17th-century manuscript cookbook now at the New York Academy of Medicine contains this inscription: "Jean Gembel her book I wish she may be drouned yt steals it from her."


An ownership inscription on a 1632 book printed in London, via the Rochester Institute of Technology, contains a familiar motif:

“Steal not this Book my honest friend
For fear the gallows be yr end
For when you die the Lord will say
Where is the book you stole away.”


One of the most elaborate book curses found on the internet runs as follows: "For him that stealeth a Book from this Library, let it change to a Serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with Palsy, and all his Members blasted. Let him languish in Pain, crying aloud for Mercy and let there be no surcease to his Agony till he sink to Dissolution. Let Book-worms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his final Punishment let the Flames of Hell consume him for ever and aye.”

Alas, this curse—still often bandied about as real—was in fact part of a 1909 hoax by the librarian and mystery writer Edmund Pearson, who published it in his "rediscovered" Old Librarian's Almanack. The Almanack was supposed to be the creation of a notably curmudgeonly 18th-century librarian; in fact, it was a product of Pearson's fevered imagination.

5 Things We Know About Deadpool 2

After Deadpool pocketed more than $750 million worldwide in its theatrical run, a sequel was put on the fast track by Fox to capitalize on the original's momentum. It's a much different position to be in for a would-be franchise that was stuck in development hell for a decade, and with Deadpool 2's May 18, 2018 release date looming, the slow trickle of information is going to start picking up speed—beginning with the trailer, which just dropped. Though most of the movie is still under wraps, here's what we know so far about the next Deadpool.


The tendency with comic book movie sequels is to keep cramming more characters in until the main hero becomes a supporting role. While Deadpool 2 is set to expand the cast from the first film with the addition of Domino (Zazie Beetz), the return of Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and the formation of X-Force, writer Rhett Reese is adamant about still making sure it's a Deadpool movie.

"Yeah, it’ll be a solo movie," Reese told Deadline. "It’ll be populated with a lot of characters, but it is still Deadpool’s movie, this next one."


Fans have been waiting for Cable to come to theaters ever since the first X-Men movie debuted in 2000, but up until now, the silver-haired time traveler has been a forgotten man. Thankfully, that will change with Deadpool 2, and he'll be played by Josh Brolin, who is also making another superhero movie appearance in 2018 as the villain Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. In the comics, Cable and Deadpool are frequent partners—they even had their own team-up series a few years back—and that dynamic will play out in the sequel. The characters are so intertwined, there were talks of possibly having him in the original.

"It’s a world that’s so rich and we always thought Cable should be in the sequel," Reese told Deadline. "There was always debate whether to put him in the original, and it felt like we needed to set up Deadpool and create his world first, and then bring those characters into his world in the next one."

Cable is actually the son of X-Men member Cyclops and a clone of Jean Grey named Madelyne Pryor (that's probably the least confusing thing about him, to be honest). While the movie might not deal with all that history, expect Cable to still play a big role in the story.


Although Deadpool grossed more than $750 million worldwide and was a critical success, it still wasn't enough to keep original director Tim Miller around for the sequel. Miller recently came out and said he left over concerns that the sequel would become too expensive and stylized. Instead, Deadpool 2 will be helmed by John Wick (2014) director David Leitch. Despite the creative shuffling, the sequel will still feature star Ryan Reynolds and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

“He’s just a guy who’s so muscular with his action," Reynolds told Entertainment Weekly of Leitch's hiring. "One of the things that David Leitch does that very few filmmakers can do these days is they can make a movie on an ultra tight minimal budget look like it was shot for 10 to 15 times what it cost,"


No, this won't be the title of the movie when it hits theaters, but the working title for Deadpool 2 while it was in production was, appropriately, Love Machine.


The natural instinct for any studio is to make the sequel to a hit film even bigger. More money for special effects, more action scenes, more everything. That's not the direction Deadpool 2 is likely heading in, though, despite Miller's fears. As producer Simon Kinberg explained, it's about keeping the unique tone and feel of the original intact.

"That’s the biggest mandate going into on the second film: to not make it bigger," Kinberg told Entertainment Weekly. "We have to resist the temptation to make it bigger in scale and scope, which is normally what you do when you have a surprise hit movie."


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