Polar Equipment and Relics, Franklin relics

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Glass bottle

Polar Equipment and Relics

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Object ID AAA2224.6
Description Glass bottle labelled ‘Tinct Opii Camph’. Also see AAA2224.22. This is a tincture of opiated camphor: tinctura opii camphorata, also known as paregoric elixer, or camphorated tincture of opium, is a medication known for its antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic properties. In the early 18th century Jakob Le Mort (1650–1718), a professor of chemistry at Leiden University, prepared an elixir for asthma and called it "paregoric". Le Mort's elixir, consisting of "honey, licorice, flowers of Benjamin, and opium, camphor, oil of aniseed, salt of tartar and spirit of wine," became official as "Elixir Asthmaticum" in the London Pharmacopoeia of 1721. Bond's Companion to the Medicine Chest,pre-1862,p.36 wrote: “Paregoric elixir. This is an excellent medicine in asthmatic and other pulmonary affections, unattended with symptoms of inflammation; it contributes greatly in such cases to allay the tickling which provokes frequent coughing, to render the respiration less difficult, and to procure rest; it is given with advantage to children in the hooping cough (…)” Paregoric was a household remedy in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was widely used to control diarrhea in adults and children, an expectorant and cough medicine, calm fretful children, and to rub on the gums to counteract the pain from teething. It was used at least until the mid-twentieth century.
Date made

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials glass; tincture of opiated camphor; metal
Measurements overall: 106 mm x 30 mm
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