Black powder against epilepsy

One of the exhibits of the temporary exhibition "Gold and gems" at the History of Pharmacy Collection in Cluj is a wooden apothecary jar from the beginning of the 19th c, with the signature PULV: EPILEPT: NIG: (i.e. in Latin Pulvis epilepticus niger). The product contained various plants (mainly peony), linden charcoal (thus the name and the black color), but also red coral, white amber, narwhal tusk (“sea unicorn”) and sometimes mother of pearl, pearls, and gold.
The product and features for example in the correspondence of the Mozarts. Though the name of the apothecary powder indicates that it was used against epilepsy, similar "black powders" were also used in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe against fever, shivers, convulsions, colic pains, and nightmares.

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