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Colocynth apothecary bottle
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Object ID 001173

Object Name Colocynth apothecary bottle

Object Desc A clear empty glass apothecary bottle with cork and labeled Colocynth.

Collection General Collection

Accession # CMY001015a-b

Alternate ID

General Category History

Category Medical


Source Category Found In Collection

Accession Date JAN 1,1991


Location Bay View Pharmacy

Object Date

Start Year Range

End Year Range

Status On Exhibit

Object Keywords Colocynth,medicine,bottles,apothecary bottles,drug stores,pharmacy,glassware,

Title Colocynth

Description A clear empty glass bottle with glass cork. The make of the bottle is unknown. There is a label that says Colocynth on the front. It is surrounded by a gold rectangle outline on a white background. There is another label on the back that is faded, making it illegible.


Approx Collection Date

Height 10.5

Length 0

Width 0

Depth 0

Diameter 3.5

Circumference 11.5

Weight 0

Unit of Measure Inches/ounces

Dimension Details 3 inches in diameter across the bottle opening. 8.25 inches circumference for the neck. 2.25 inches in height for the cover.

Quantity 1



Site Details

Place of Origin

Maker Unknown

Maker Details Colocynth has been widely used in folk medicine for centuries. Johann Weyer offers it as a cure for lycanthropy. Interest in its anti-inflammatory properties has been renewed in modern times. In pre-modern medicine it was an ingredient in the electuary called confectio hamech, or diacatholicon, and most other laxative pills; and in such cases as required purging, it was very successful. It is one of the most violent purgative drugs known; insomuch that it excoriates the passages to such a degree as to sometimes draw blood and induce a so-called "superpurgation". Some women used it in the same manner, in the beginning of pregnancy, to cause an abortion, which often occurred due to the violence of its operation. The powder of colocynth was sometimes used externally, with aloes, etc., in unguents, bandages, etc., with remarkable success against parasitic worms; and some, for the same purpose, recommended that the pulp be used as an enema.

Maker Mark


(click for full image)

Image Caption CMY001015a-b



Date JAN 9,2014

Summary Very Good

Assessor Brooke Uhl

Notes Bottle is in excellent shape. The label is stained.


Date JAN 9,2014

Summary Location change

Notes Location changed to Bay View Pharmacy from H. Grafman Grocery Exhibit - automatic entry by admin