The apothecary has gone through a few transitions since early Egyptians mummified their dead. Plants and herbs were considered for their usefulness, and their beauty may well have been considered curative too. An apothecary was a medicinal practitioner, a doctor of sort (physician or surgeon), who diagnosed, prepared meds, and treated the patient. He usually made house calls.
thing the apothecary then and now has in common is the natural state of
the medicines. Fresh or dried herbs are so very natural in the
advertising of products today. A better result of usage today is that
there is a more precise measurement of the herbal strength in herbal
cures, and modern doctors are more willing to acknowledge and prescribe
were a huge part of the apothecaries of old. Eventually native
applications were transferred from Europe to the Americas and vice
versa. During colonial times in the US, many of the plants were from
England. The actual place where the apothecary kept the measurement
instruments, apothecary jars, apothecary cabinets, and remedy stocks was
called a still room. The still room was kept ready for the
preservation of essential herbs (processed into oils), the infusion of
herbs, distillation, and brewing of liquors and teas, too. The home
apothecary or still room was a room that was part infirmary, part
laboratory, and sometimes part kitchen.
Another common tool from the apothecary then and now is the pestle and mortar.
It is still used to compound herbs and plants for medicinal and other
uses. It has been made from all sorts of materials; wood, stone, glass,
porcelain, and iron, to mention some.
typical apothecary then was a male, and now, the typical physician is
male, although females are growing in the profession. For example,
pharmacists are a growing field, and many are women. The pharmacist is
the modern apothecary. The evolution from apothecary to pharmacist
dropped the pharmacist from the diagnostic and treatment part of the
apothecary of old. Now pharmacists prepare and sell the medicines.
It's an interesting thing to keep in mind when traveling to countries
with apothecaries. Instead of being intrigued with the possibility of
the herbal potions being shown in a seventeenth century manner, what you
get is a drugstore, with a pharmacy. There are apothecary museums
around the world so you can get the real feel of a storeroom that has
never really disappeared from the healing world.
Crabtree and Evelyn is a business inspired from the home apothecary. They
specialize in the use of fruit, flower, and plant essences in their
wonderful products. Oils like rosemary, lavender, avocado, almond) and
aromatherapy distillations are in their collections. It's easy for us
to find natural products now, especially online. This one transition
has helped to re-popularize the apothecary.