a medicine sold with false or exaggerated claims and with no demonstrable value; quack medicine.
a scheme, theory, device, etc., especially one to remedy social or political ills; panacea.
a medicine made by the person who recommends it.
a patent medicine.

1595–1605; < Latin nostrum our, ours (neuter singular of noster); referring to the seller's calling the drug “our” drug Unabridged

mare nostrum

[mah-re nohs-troom; English mair-ee nos-truhm, mahr-ey] .
our sea, especially the Mediterranean to the ancient Romans. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mare nostrum (ˈmɑːreɪ ˈnɒstrʊm)
the Latin name for the Mediterranean
[literally: our sea]

nostrum (ˈnɒstrəm)
1.  a patent or quack medicine
2.  a favourite remedy, as for political or social problems
[C17: from Latin: our own (make), from noster our]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"quack medicine," c.1600, from L. nostrum remedium "our remedy," presumably that prepared by the person offering it, from L. nostrum, neut. of noster "our," from nos "we," from PIE *nos (see us).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

nostrum nos·trum (nŏs'trəm)
A medicine whose effectiveness is unproved and whose ingredients are usually secret; a quack remedy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Compared to real professors who leave gallons of ink on their students' papers, virtual grading is a nostrum.
Cataracts develop following use of anti-fat nostrum.
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