Glass bottles: Tincture Rounds

Tincture rounds are cylindrical glass bottles that are designed to hold the liquid tinctures the chemist extracted from plant material. They have narrow necks with ground glass stoppers. Tinctures were chemical extracted by immersing leaves, roots, wood or bark in liquid with a content of more than 40% ethanol (alcohol), leaving the mixture for a couple of weeks, shaking occasionally then straining. To get the most of the liquor the material would also be squeezed out using a tincture press. These bottles were also used for containing infusions, made like tea with hot water and acids and other reagents used in chemical processes.

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Tincture round containing a tincture of gentianA tincture round labelled INF:GENT:CO: containing an infusion made from the root of the great yellow gentian Gentiana lutea that grows profusely on the hills of the Auvergne in France and other mountainous country in Europe. This gives the bitter flavouring of the French aperitif liqueurs Gentiane and Suze and of Angostura bitters. In medicine it is used as an appetite stimulant and for other digestive problems and has been used in the treatment of anorexia. It has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

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Tincture round bottle containing tincture of stramoniumA tincture round labelled TINCT:STRAMONII containing a tincture made from the poisonous thorn apple plant Datura stramonium. It is a member of the Solanaceae family, most of which are poisonous in some way, although they include potato, tomato, aubergine, sweet pepper and chilli. The plant contains the alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine which can bring on delirium, hyperthermia (over-heating) and tachycardia (fast heart beat). However, when it is very diluted it is used as a heart stimulant and for gastric and urinary problems.

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