Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mansfield's Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy by William Mansfield, A.M., Phar.D.

My mother, who is a pharmacist, moved out of her house a few years ago and during that time she was constantly asking me to look through boxes of things she no longer wanted, just in case they were of interest to me. (Well, actually, it is still going on as she is now cleaning out her storage space--there is a never-ending supply of boxes of things to go through.) In one of those boxes, I uncovered a copy of this 1926 reference book on plants and their medical uses.

The book was published in 1926 and was once owned by a man named Philip Willcott (or so the name written on the inside front cover says).

In addition to the interesting photos of plants, what most attracted me to the book were the many handwritten notes (written in by Mr. Willcott, I will assume).

The note on the bottom left page is pretty great: "Death by asphyxiation, Insanity, Melancholia". In other words, stay away from Stramonium! (For more on the hallucinogenic effects of this plant, check out the wikipedia page.)

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