27/07/2016

Rose honey



The FOCUS exhibit of August 2016 at the History of Pharmacy Collection in Cluj-Napoca deals with one of the basic apothecary products in entire Europe, i.e. rose honey.
Rose honey, MEL. ROSATUM (or Mellis Rosae) was one of the most common and often used products of the medieval and pre-modern pharmacies. For his reason it is also known as Mel rosatum commune, sive foliatum (common rose honey, as there were other variations as well). Apothecary dispensatories mention different way of preparing it. Some pharmacists mixed red roses (Rosa centifolia) in honey and left the mix in the sun; others boiled the petals, not to dry but not too fresh either, in honey, while yet others obtained a juice from the petals and then mixed it with honey.


The product was used as such, due to its emollient and lenitive (calming pain) properties, but was also an ingredient in various composite drugs (especially gargles and creams).
The History of Pharmacy Collection in Cluj-Napoca includes just two jars for rose honey, both dated to the nineteenth century and made of porcelain. The first was used in the Mathias Corvinus pharmacy in Cluj (1815), while the second was once used in Ia┼či, in the Engel pharmacy there.

1815 porcelain apothecary jar from Cluj

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