Syrup of rhubarb and other cures

Those who visit my stand at fairs will know that I like to include vintage bottles in my displays.

I like the shapes, the uneven, cloudy glass and the different colours and textures (vivid greens and blues with a ridged edge for poisons).

chemists' bottles 2Most of all, I like the chemists’ dispensing bottles with their intriguing paper labels, an education in the herbal medicine chest.

Lavender water soothed burns, while tincture of bark helped to fight low grade fevers. Many of the stranger mixtures targeted the bowels, including syrup of violets and rhubarb, the latter

‘…an excellent remedy in case of flatulent affection of the bowels attended with griping pains, and in diarrhoea free from inflammation; but it should not be indiscriminately administered in every case of pain in the bowels, on account of the stimulating nature of the spirit with which it is prepared.”

If only the literature accompanying prescribed drugs today were as colourful.

I have just put a selection of vintage chemists’ bottles in the on-line shop. We supply new corks so you can use the bottles for dressings or home made cordials  and liqueurs.  I like to fill a group of them with single flowers arranged on the kitchen windowsill.

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