In his old age, President James Madison suffered from many ailments and took a variety of medicines. It is said that a longtime friend from a nearby county sent him a box of vegetable pills, one of his own home remedies, asking to be informed if they brought relief. In time he received one of those gracious and carefully worded letters for which Madison was noted. It went something like this: "My dear friend, I thank you very much for the box of pills. I have taken them all; and while I cannot say I am better since taking them, it is quite possible that I might have been worse if I had not taken them."