Browse Items (111 total)

Opio (Opium)

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

Opio (Opium)

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


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.

Opiat: Febrif: (Febrifuga or feverfew)

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

Ong: De Laur: (Laurel Ointment)

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.


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.

Kerm Minera: (Kermes Mineralis)

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…

Container Details

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,…


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.


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.