"Animals that heal" (Animale vindecatoare) is the title of the new temporary exhibition in the making at the History of Pharmacy Collection in Cluj-Napoca. The exhibition will open in the first days of January 2017 and will be on display for six month, in the center of Cluj, in Unirii Square no. 28.
Rather numerous medieval and early modern apothecary ingredients were obtained from animals and insects. The eighteenth-century written sources from Transylvania, pharmacy inventories, pharmacopoeias, apothecary taxes (lists of ingredients and prices), mention 80 such ingredients, much more than in the era’s Austrian pharmacopoieas for example. Some were exotic, obtained from sperm whales, civet cats, cuttlefish etc., while others were local, obtained from common European species (such as the so-called Spanish fly, bear, deer, pig and others). The ingredients include various organs, secretions or even pathological “products” from the body of the various species of animals, such as the bezoars.
The exhibition shall tell the tale of these less usual medicines and illustrate it with various jars for such ingredients and also historical samples of some of them.