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13 Colonies Apothecary


This page describes the work of a colonial apothecary. Did you know some colonial apothecaries performed surgeries and others treated patients by "bleeding" them with leeches!


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Colonial apothecaries were what we think of as doctors. They treated patients, made and prescribed medicines, made house calls, and taught apprentices. Some even performed surgeries – and remember most surgeries occurred at the time without anesthesia. Even in the 1600s and 1700s, apothecaries were sophisticated in their knowledge of remedies. For example, they knew that calamine could be used to treat itchy skin problems and that heartburn could be cured with chalk (similar to modern-day Tums). Apothecaries often used leeches to “bleed” people and chinchona bark to treat fevers. Some Apothecaries crafted their own remedies from any number of substances, herbs, animal parts, and other mixtures.

Colonial Apothecary Video