Three late 18th century wooden apothecary jars labelled Traganth Pulver, Gallea and Rhiz Zingiber
Tragacanth is the gummy exudation from the stems of several species of Astragalus. It can only act as a demulcent; but on account of its insolubility, it is rarely given internally. In powder, it is used as a vehicle for active and heavy medicines, for the purpose of giving cohesion and firmness to lozenges, and to form paste, which druggists use to label their prescriptions.
Gallae or gall nuts whose active ingredients were tannins were used as astringents for treating diarrhea, intestinal parasites, haemorrhoids, bleeding wounds and ulcerations, excessive sweating and involuntary seminal emission.
The genus Zingiber contains the true gingers, plants which have been attributed medicinal qualities in the treament of flu, headache, fatigue, sore throat, stomach ache and hyperemesis gravidorum (sickness of pregnancy).
- From the Phisick collection