The Science and Art of Medicine


    On Display

    A plastic sachet containing Joshanda, a Unani Tibb herbal medicine used to treat flu, coughs and colds. Unani Tibb medicines have been produced commercially for about 70 years in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    Votive viscera, probably Roman, 200 BC-200 AD.

    Votive viscera, female, terracotta, probably Roman, 200BC-200AD. Votive offerings were gifts given to the gods in prayer. These would often be in the form or representation of the injured or diseased part of the body and would be left at the temple o

    Wooden statue of St Cosmas, probably French, 19th century.

    Wooden figure of Saint Cosmas, probably French, 1801-1900. St. Cosmas and his twin brother St. Damian are the patron saints of physicians. They were physicians who would not accept payment for treatment, an act of charity which converted many people

    Statuette of Imhotep seated, Egyptian, 600-500 BC.

    Seated figurine of Imhotep, made of electrum metal, Ancient Egyptian, 600-500BC. Imhotep (2686-2613 BC) was the first known physician and chief adviser to King Zoser (Djoser), in the 3rd dynasty. He was also the architect of the first pyramid in Egyp

    Enema syringe with cloth carrying bag, Indian, 2005.

    An enema syringe with a cloth carrying bag, purchased from India in 2005. An enema (vasthi) introduces fluid into the lower bowel via the anus. A single Ayurvedic treatment might involve several enemas using oils mixed with different medicinal herbs

    Copper bowl used in Ayurvedic Shirodhara therapy, Indian, c 2005.

    A copper bowl with chains for suspension, known as a dhara chatti. It is used in Ayurvedic shirodhara therapy, where warm oil from a suspended pot is slowly poured onto the forehead. Usually prescribed for illnesses affecting the head, it is increas

    Stainless steel nasal dropper, USA, 2004-2005.

    A stainless steel nasal oil applicator, purchased in 2005. Medicinal oils are poured directly into the nose during panchakarma, an Ayurvedic therapy. This treatment specifically targets health problems of the head, such as migraine, eye complaints an

    Netsuke showing a man applying moxa, Japanese, late 18th century.

    A wooden figure of a man giving himself moxibustion treatment - burning herbs on or near the skin. The black spot on his leg represents the smouldering herb. The figure is signed Miwa with Kakihan.

    Moxa caps, Japanese, 1980-1985.

    A packet of moxa caps, designed to be placed on the heads of acupuncture needles. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbs are burnt in the cap, and the heat from the burning herbs travels through the acupuncture needle into the body.

    Box containing three graded cupping glasses, Japanese, 1980-1990.

    A cupping kit with three different sized cupping glasses. Cupping sets are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to stimulate the flow of qi energy. The glass cup is placed on the skin and then air is drawn out with the metal pump.