Children in the twenties, thirties, and forties were looking kelt to have to wear asfoetida bags around their necks to ward off illness.  The foul-smelling asfoetida was likely to placed in a discarded tobacco bag like the one pictured above.

I found near this article about asfoetida on

Monday, January 14, 2013
Maybe it’s time for asafeotida bags
By Meg Hibbert
Maybe it’s time to break out the asafeotida bags to ward off the flu.

Doctors, hospitals and medical personnel all over – especially in Virginia – are saying this week that the flu epidemic right now is huge. The word is that local hospitals are getting overloaded with flu cases. Staff on Tuesday said Richfield Retirement Center’s residents in the Recovery and Care Center are quarantined to their rooms and residential floors, instead of being allowed to go to the cafeteria.

Maybe we should all try wearing asafetida…

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