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Since 1847:

Thayers Natural Remedies History

A legacy personal care brand with a 175-year history…and counting.

The son of a physician and one of Massachusetts’ founding families, Henry Thayer was trained in the medical arts at Boston Medical School and received the degree of M.D. The special study to which he devoted himself was chemistry, under the most eminent chemists of Boston and New York.

Initially, Dr. Thayer practiced medicine for a short time, and at 21 years of age in 1843, opened a drug store in Douglass Block in Cambridge, where he continued for a few years, only leaving to establish his famed Henry Thayer & Company in 1847, on corner of Main and Essex Streets in Cambridge.

Dr. Thayer began a series of experiments in 1850, aiming to perfect the technique of evaporating in vacuum with the goal of preparing extracts in a concentrated form. With the success of these experiments, he began the manufacture of fluid extracts. During the Civil War, the products of his establishment were in active demand for the Army, as the government looked to Henry Thayer & Co for a large portion of its hospital supplies. The products found favor with all practitioners in the treatment of disease. During this period of time, Henry Thayer & Co has been described as the largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals in America, finding sale of the company’s preparations both at home and abroad

Over time, Dr. Thayer continued to produce his line of herbal extracts, which grew to include over 800 products in the form of infusions, poultices, syrups, tinctures, and wines. Prominent among the products was Witch Hazel Extract, listed as a “tonic, astringent and sedative.”

Witch Hazel, a flowering plant known for its medicinal properties, has become the brand’s hero ingredient. Today, Witch Hazel is incorporated into our highly sought-after alcohol-free toners and astringents, as well as our new facial mists and body bars. Thayers Witch Hazel is Certified Organic and sourced from a family farm in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Our skincare products are made the old-fashioned way – and not distilled – so they contain 195% more tannins, which are naturally occurring substances found in the bark and skin of some plants, including Witch Hazel. Tannins have mild antioxidant properties and help to balance the skin’s pH levels.

A legacy brand, Thayers natural elixirs have been a fixture in medicine cabinets for generations – for 175 years to be exact. Through a long-standing commitment to creating pure, effective, cruelty-free products of the highest natural quality, we have built a loyal consumer base. Once you use them, you’ll know why.

Select information courtesy of Luigi Bellofatto (Italy).


Born on May 14th, 1823, into one of Massachusetts’ founding families, Dr. Thayer was trained in the medical arts of his day at Boston Medical School.


In 1847, Henry Thayer M.D. opened a laboratory on Main Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts to produce his newly developed line of herbal extracts for sale to the medical profession. The company, named Henry Thayer & Company, prospered and broadened its line of products and has been described as the largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals in America at the time of the Civil War.
Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association Silver Medal


In 1855, the American Institute of New York awarded Thayers a silver medal for excellence in preparation of fluid extracts. In 1856, the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association awarded the company for the apparatus to produce these extracts.


Henry passes away on May 17, 1882 in Natick, Massachusetts and leaves the company to his daughter, Susan Thayer. Slippery elm lozenges are also released.


In 1989, alcohol free versions of our Witch Hazel line offered as facial toners were introduced.


Thayers began using Certified Organic Witch Hazel and Certified Organic Aloe Vera in 2012.


Thayers HQ relocates to a family-owned organic farm where our witch hazel is grown.
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