Wooden snuff box, Europe, 1701-1900
The top of this wooden snuff box shows a physician feeling the pulse of a patient, a process that is a key element of diagnosis across a number of medical traditions. Snuff is powdered tobacco snorted or rubbed on to the gums and was well-liked for its aroma, taste and stimulating nicotine boost. It was once believed to ward off colds, be good for ear, nose and throat problems and stop snoring.
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Glossary: snuff box
a small usually ornamental container for holding snuff Boxes, usually having a hinged lid and small enough to be carried in the pocket, used for holding snuff
A chemical compound that forms 0.6-3.0 per cent of the dry weight of tobacco. Nicotine acts as a stimulant in mammals, and is one of the primary reasons for smoking addiction.
Tobacco that has been finely powdered. Snuff is usually sniffed through the nose, or applied to the gums with a finger.