The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum Store (FIDM) had an event entitled “A Morning in the Apothecary.” At the event, there was a guest alchemist that spoke about the general medicinal usage of herbs within 18th century apothecaries. We couldn’t wait to attend this event and learn more about this topic. With trivia, giveaways, treats, and Master Raymond’s embroidered jacket being close at hand, we knew this would be an event to remember!
The early practice of medicine was primarily based on observation and interpretation, rather than scientific reasoning. At that time, the sciences of biology and chemistry had not yet influenced the understanding and theories of disease. As a result, diseases were often classified and treated by their symptoms rather than their causes.
Apothecaries in the 17th and 18th centuries were often seen as skilled practitioners that could diagnose medical conditions and prepare compounds for a medicinal purposes. Back then, many of their skills were learned through a form of apprenticeship. The apothecaries’ interest to understand the interactions of herbs and other natural substances was a precursor to the modern sciences of chemistry and pharmacology.
A discussion of basic herbs and their medicinal uses were briefly explained by the alchemist at the FIDM Museum Shop event. She discussed the general usage of several herbs and how it is possible to draw out the essential oils by pairing it with whisky or vodka, using a 2:1 ratio. She mentioned that the therapeutic properties greatly increase when the herb is altered to the state of an essential oil.
She brought her favorite reference books to the event to share with everyone. These books illustrated that the craft of using herbs to enhance our overall health and well-being continues to this day. We were appreciative to have this form of learning experience. It allowed us to explore the basic concepts behind the healing skills we admire in the characters of Master Raymond and Claire Fraser.
After the discussion, all participants were given a beautiful satchel with the dried herbs of lemon verbena, rose, and lavender. Mixing the herbs together created a wonderful satchel that can be placed under our pillows, in a drawer, or even within our purses. We simply loved the aroma of the herbs when mixed together.
At the conclusion of the event, a raffle was held. To Jae’s surprise she actually won! She won a Visionary Candle that was sold in their gift shop.
After the event, we decided to go back and re-admire the Outlander costumes shown at the FIDM Museum. You can see more of these costumes by looking at our blog entitled Emmy Nominated Costumes at the FIDM or our Fickr account. As we take one last walk through admiring Master Raymond’s embroidered jacket, we are now even more appreciative of the level of research the Outlander team does to bring our beloved characters to life.
“All healing is done essentially by reaching the… what shall we call it? The soul? The essence? The center? By reaching the patient’s center, from which they can heal themselves.”
Master Raymond, Dragonfly in Amber
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