Large square wooden-cased mill with brass cup-shaped upper section, European, 1701-1870
To prepare medical treatments using plant or herb roots, leaves and seeds, these raw materials needed to be ground down. They would be placed in the brass cup at the top which contains a grinder. Like a pepper mill, turning the handle grinds the contents into a powder which falls into the drawer underneath.
The powder would be added to syrups made from sugar or to mixtures to make pills and tablets.