Two pharmacy jars, 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Two pharmacy jars, one French, one Italian. The Italian jar, right, was made at Castelli, Abruzzi. It is labelled as containing aqua lilibarum convalliorum, meaning lily of the valley water, which was used as both a purgative and perfume. The French jar was made to contain syrupus quinque radices aserientes, meaning five aperient root syrup. This was constituted from the roots of fennel, smallage (celery), parsley, asparagus and butcher's broom. An aperient is a laxative.