Bottle of extract of nux vomica, London, England, 1794-1930

1794-1930 in London
Savory and Moore Limited

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Glass bottle containing extract of nux vomica, by Savory and Moore Ltd., London

Nux vomica is a bitter-tasting drug extracted from the poisonous strychnine-containing seeds of a tree that is native to parts of Asia and Australia. Nux vomica translates from Latin as “vomiting nut” – it can be highly toxic and has long been used to make rat poisons.

The drug has stimulating properties when used in small quantities and strychnine itself is a known heart stimulant. It has been used as a tonic and was recommended as a treatment for post anaesthetic shock and resuscitation. In larger doses it can cause convulsions and death. This is not untypical – quite a number of previously common drugs contained highly poisonous components. The ridged glass bottle design indicates that the contents are poisonous.


Medical Glass-ware
Object Number:
nux vomica
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • vessel
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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