Browse Items (111 total)

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The poppy seed capsule is incised and the milky exudate is left to dry. After that, the brown tacky substance is harvested.

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The poppy cultivated for opium production is Papaver somniferum, a white poppy growing to a height of about 1 - 2 feet.

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The snail has sometimes been interpreted as a symbol of resurrection, due to occasional periods of hibernation. A Dutch or Flemish floral painting from the 1600s might have an image of a snail cleverly hidden.

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Medicine used to reduce or remove fevers. Joined with 'opiat', which denotes an opiate, it was most likely used to calm and reduce fever.

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An ointment made from an extract of the laurel, an ericaceous evergreen, was used to treat syphilis and various skin diseases. It was first used by the Arabians for a variety of symptoms, most commonly nervous headaches.

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This came from a plant, commonly called club-moss. In pharmacies, licopodio was used for the purpose of facilitating the rolling of the pilular mass and to prevent the adhesion of the pills once they were formed.

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Antimony, found in a particular ore, when boiled and cooled forms a powder, which is often mixed with numerous other important agents. This was used for fevers, rheumatic and cancerous cases and to hasten the action of other medications when used as…

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Some of the jars in the collection have these 'container details' so stylized that they are reminiscent of a 'double-headed swan' motif. Swans symbolize the fragility of life. They are also a symbol of fidelity. Whether used as a meaningful symbol,…

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This detailed image, less than an inch wide, shows a turtle. In many cultures, turtles symbolize long life and stability. This might have been a reassuring symbol to see when visiting an apothecary.

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The rod or staff of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, is often depicted as a staff with a snake. With two snakes and wings at the top of the staff, it is a caduceus, seen as a symbol of Hermes. The classic caduceus is shown at right.