Albarello drug jar for 'the Blessed Laxative', Italy, 1601-1700

1601-1700 in Liguria

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Blue and white albarello vase, from Albisola or Savona, Italy, used for benedicta lar., 1600-1690

The inscription tells us much about the contents of the jar. Benedicta lar is a shortened version of Benedicta Laxativa – “the Blessed Laxative”. This preparation was so called to avoid confusion with similar but less valuable preparations. Made from a mixture of crushed seeds, plants, sugar and honey, the laxative was used to loosen and purge phlegm from the body. It was believed an excessive amount of cold phlegm, one of the four humours, caused trouble with the joints, such as arthritis and gout.


Medical Ceramic-ware
Object Number:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • drug jar

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