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

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Credit: Bottle of extract of nux vomica, London, England, 1794-1930. Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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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. maker: Savory and Moore Limited Place made: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom


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