Apothecary jar, polv myrrh, glass / paper / cork, Elliott Bros Ltd Manufacturing Chemists, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1900-1940
Pharmacy and the use of drugs has a long history dating back to the Neolithic period and dated to c.2600 BC, clay tablets recording an illness, a formula for the preparation of a remedy and an incantation to enhance the healing, have been found in Babylonia. The use of pharmacy is recorded in the history of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and the early Eastern civilizations. During the Middle Ages the roles of physician, herbalist and shaman began to diverge. Even into the 19th century the divide between apothecary and physician was blurred with many dispensers practising medicine, especially in colonial Australia. By 1840 there were at least six doctors who kept dispensing shops where they could be consulted. In 1820 the first chemist shop was opened in Australia by John Tawell and one soon followed in Tasmania opened by Michael Bates in 1825. By 1855 when Elliott Bros Ltd, the makers of this bottle of Myrrh, was founded there was an established market for Australian produced drugs.
This jar was made by Elliott Bros Ltd Manufacturing Chemists in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Elliott Bros drug company was founded in 1855 when Dr George and Mr Frederick Elliott bought W & E Youngman's Sydney wholesaling business. The expanded their business and in 1862 opened their acid works in Balmain. They continued to expand and were still supplying medical equipment and drugs into the mid 20th century.
"Myrrh has the following medical and pharmaceutical applications: astringent, healing. tonic and stimulant. A direct emmenagogue, a tonic in dyspepsia, an expectorant, a stimulant to the mucous tissues, a stomachic carminative, exciting appetite and the flow of gastric juice, and an astringent wash. It is used in chronic catarrh, phthisis pulmonalis, chlorosis, and in amenorrhoea is often combined with aloes and iron. As a wash it is good for spongy gums, ulcerated throat and aphthous stomatitis, and the tincture is also applied to foul and indolent ulcers. It has been found helpful in bronchorrhoea and leucorrhoea. It has also been used as a vermifuge. When long-continued rubefacient effect is needed, a plaster may be made with 1 1/2 oz. each of camphor, myrrh, and balsam of Peru rubbed together and added to 32 oz. of melted lead plaster, the whole being stirred until cooling causes it to thicken. Myrrh is a common ingredient of toothpowders, and is used with borax in tincture, with other ingredients, as a mouth-wash. The Compound Tincture, or Horse Tincture, is used in veterinary practice for healing wounds."
A modern herbal by M. Grieve. (http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/myrrh-66.html)