A pair of late 18th early 19th century wooden apothecary jars labelled Rad Curcum Pulv and Rad Senegae Pulv
Turmeric (Curcumin) is an orange yellow crystalline powder soluble in methanol, ethanol, acetone, dichloroethylene and glacial acetic acid and is sparingly soluble in water. Best known for being the yellow constituent of curry powder it is also pharmacologically active. Being an active choleretic, it increases the excretion of bile salts, cholesterol and bilirubin, as well as increasing the solubility of bile. This suggests a benefit in the treatment of gallstones.
Dried roots of Plygana Senega were used historically as an expectorant in bronchitis. The active ingredient is saponin. It was rarely used as a diuretic in renal dropsy and was also used to treat snake bites hence the alternative name of snake root.