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Glass bottle, containing 'anti-hysteria water', Florence, Italy, 1850-1920

‘Anti-hysteria water’ is contained in this moulded glass bottle. It was produced by the pharmacy of the Carthusian Monastery, near Florence in Italy. The water was taken with a cup of coffee with a third of a cup of water and a little sugar. This created ‘an aromatic drink that calms nervous excitation.’ Monasteries often produced such simple remedies and cures for general sale. In the 1800s, hysteria was a broad diagnosis applied to women with ‘nervous’ conditions.

Object number:

A69425

 

Glossary:

Glossary: bottle

Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations

Glossary: hysteria

A nervous affection, occurring almost exclusively in women, in which the emotional and reflex excitability is exaggerated, and the will power correspondingly diminished, so that the patient loses control over the emotions, becomes the victim of imaginary sensations, and often falls into paroxism or fits.

Glossary: pharmacy

The preparation and medicinal dispensing of drugs.