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The presented press was originally used in a pharmacy in Brzostek (Subcarpathian Province, Dębica District). Currently, it is on display at an exhibition devoted to the history of pharmacy at the Museum of Ziemia Biecka.

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The presented press was originally used in a pharmacy in Brzostek (Subcarpathian Province, Dębica District). Currently, it is on display at an exhibition devoted to the history of pharmacy at the Museum of Ziemia Biecka.
What was the purpose of this device? Similarly to many other presses used both in pharmacies (compare with the laboratory press from the Museum of Pharmacy at the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Kraków) and in households (fruit squeezer from the Cultural Meeting Centre in Dąbrowa Tarnowska), it was used for squeezing extracts from plant materials, such as fruits, herbs, roots, leaves and seeds. By crushing them with a heavy piston, juices, tinctures and even oils (after crushing appropriate seeds) were obtained.
The press presented here was used by pharmacists in Brzostek to prepare health tinctures (from the Latin word tinctura − tincture). The basis for their preparation was always alcohol, which was poured onto appropriate substances, not only fruits and herbs, but also flowers, e.g. jasmine, elderberry, blackthorn, hawthorn, also appreciated as remedies today. Valued for their health properties, and additionally for their flavour, they occupied an important place in household cabinets with medications, known as “pleasant first aid kits” for a good reason.

Elaborated by the editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums,
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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