|Make your troubles float away...|
It's an opiate derivative, similar to modern morphine, and it fit in well with my setting's timeline. This stuff used to be widely available in patent medicines and tonics. Makes me wonder how many opium addicts (by today's standards) existed in the 19th century when they could buy Laudanum and other opiates without any sort of restriction or prescription. It was even added to Absinthe to increase the high (oh, the fun of mixing narcotics and hallucinogens) and the side effects... wow.
It's nasty, yet incredibly awesome stuff, at least from a story teller standpoint. ;) Just think of the fun things I can do to my characters!!