7 of 20 datoon toothbrushes from the nim or margosa tree, Indian, 1880-1920
The twigs of the neem or margossa tree have been used in India as ‘datoon’ toothbrushes. This is a practice that has gone on for centuries. Indeed, trees of this type are often referred to as ‘toothbrush trees’. Chewing the twigs releases chemicals in the plant that can kill bacteria and greatly reduce the build up of plaque on the teeth.
The longest twig measures 270 mm in length. The toothbrushes were bought from the local bazaar by the Indian Museum in Calcutta (now Kolkata) who later donated the toothbrushes to the Wellcome collections.
- Asian Medicine
- Object Number:
- A639149 Pt1
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.