The Science and Art of Medicine


    On Display

    Alms boxes, c 1675.

    Female almsbox figure, believed to date fom 1676. Alongside a male figure, it was used to collect donations for the Bethlehem Hospital ('Bedlam'), hospital when it was situated at Moorfields, London. The original hospital, in use from c.1377 until 1

    Statue of St Sebastian, German, possibly 16th century.

    Oak statue of St Sebastian, believed to originate from the lower Rhennish (Rhine) area of Germany, possibly 1501-1600. Little is known for sure about his life, other than that he was a martyr who was buried on the Appian Way near Rome, in the third c

    Ancient Egyptian mummified cat, 2000-100 BC.

    Mummified cat, Ancient Egyptian, 2000-100BC. Cats had enormous significance for the Egyptian people, and their relationship with them was principally religious. The mummification of cats, and their burial within the temple, was performed to provide t

    Ancient Egyptian amulet, heart-shaped stone, 4000-30 BC.

    Heart-shaped stone amulet, Egyptian, 4000-30 BC. Possibly taken from a tomb.

    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.