Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Medicinal Plants"


Medicinal Plants was the theme of the display provided by Jean Osbourne at our latest meeting.

Jean's fascination for collecting Medicinal Plants stamps stemmed from her occupation as a pharmacist. In her early career she had used plant extracts to make up most prescriptions, whilst nowadays, the active ingredients of most prescriptions are artificially synthesized. Nevertheless, even today, the study of plants continues to reveal medicinal remedies.

Jean's philatelic display was cleverly organized into the symptoms that were effectively relieved by the various plant extracts. The male fern, although smelling awful, killed worms. The periwinkle was effective in some leukemias. St. John's Wort has a similar action to the drug "Prozac" but with no side effects, but Jean warned that warfarin reacts with St. John's Wort. African natives often chewed cola nuts to get a boost-long before "Coca-Cola". The cannabis plant relaxes muscle spasms in those with multiple sclerosis. Lily of the Valley and Digitalis were used as cardiac drugs. Juniper oil is an irritant to the genito-urinary tract and, therefore, was good as a diuretic to get rid of excess fluid. Peppermint was used in irritable bowel syndromes whilst rhubarb, cyclamen, senna and castor oil are well known laxatives. Fritilaria is one of the few sources of anti-pyretics to relieve rheumatic and muscular pains. Tonics to increase appetite included nutmeg, cornflower, thistle and ginseng. Local anti-infectants included pine, eucalyptus, pyrethrum (ointment for scabies) and larkspur (head lice).

Jean used postcards, cigarette cards, stamps, meter marks and other postal markings to illustrate her magnificent display.

Dr Ken Liddell proposed the vote of thanks.

Next meeting, on Friday 17th October, will have Mr. A.J.Bosworth displaying "Croatia"