Model of pharmacy in Guangzhou, China, 1880-1883


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A model of a pharmacy in Canton, China. From a colour transparency in the Science Museum Photographic Archive.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pharmacy model, Guangzhou, China, probably 1881

A model of a pharmacy in Guangzhou, China. Patients bring their prescription to the pharmacy and the medicine is made on the premises. Upstairs two workers prepare medicine, while a group of people sit round a table downstairs. Medical drugs are an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and are made from plants, animals and minerals. In TCM, the taste of a substance tells you which organ the medicine is good for. Prescriptions are often a mix of many different-tasting substances. The medicine must treat the organs affected by the disease, but must also strengthen the other organs to stop the condition spreading.

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