Cylindrical glass jar with glass stopper, contains flat nux vomica seeds from East Indies, jar supplied by Burroughs Wellcome(?), English, 1870-1940
Nux vomica seeds (shown on the right) are used in Unani Tibb to stimulate the nervous system and treat paralysis. Nux vomica had similar uses in Western medicine as a source of strychnine to bring patients round after anaesthetics. High doses of the drug are poisonous and potentially fatal.
Unani Tibb is an Islamic medical tradition. Health and personality are influenced by a person’s unique combination of humours, or elements, and their relationship with the environment. Illness occurs when the humours become unbalanced. Treatment is tailored to suit the individual’s specific mix of humours. The seeds are shown here with nigella sativa seeds (A670308) also used in herbal medicine.