The Pharmacopoeia of the Royal College of Physicians

of London
    This is a transcription of the Materia Medica (medical substances) of the fifth edition of The Pharmacopoeia of the Royal College of Physicians (London), published 1791. The Pharmacopoeia collected together the known information for the substances used by the apothecaries and physicians of the times. The London pharmacopoeia was first published in 1618 and was written in Latin. In 1854 the General Medical Council was tasked with a legal obligation to produce a British Pharmacopoeia in order to standardise medicines and deal with discrepencies in the three existing Pharmacopoeiae (London, Dublin and Edinburgh).The British Pharmacopoeia was first published in 1864 and is a default pharmacopoeia used for Australia today (
The extract translated below shows what was prescribed by doctors in the late 18th century in England. Note that many of these "drugs" could be found in a kitchen.

L.S.P. Linnaei Species Plantarum
Linn. Suppl. P. Linnaei Supplementum Plantarum
L.S.N. Linnaei Systema Naturae

Materia Medica

Latin Name Common Name Part Dispensary Name Use
Abrotonum Southernwood leaf Artemesia Abrotanum
Absinthium maritimum Sea Wormwood top Artemesia maritima, L.S.P.
Absinthium vulgare Common Wormwood herb Arteesia Absinthium, L.S.P.
Acetosa pratensis Meadow-Sorrell leaf Rumex Acetosa
Acidum Vitriolicum Vitriolic Acid
Aconitum Blue Wolf's Bane or Monk's Hood herb Aconitum Napellus, L.S.P. rheumatic, venereal and painful conditions
Aloe Barbadensis Barbadoes and Socotrine Aloes inspirsated juices Aloe perfoliata, L.S.P.
Althaea Marshmallow root and leaf Althaea officnalis, L.S.P.
Alumen Alum Argilla vitriolata
Ammoniacum Ammoniacum gum resin
Amygdala amara Bitter and sweet Almond the kernel Amygdala communis, L.S.P.
Anethum Dill seed Anethum graveolens, L.S.P.
Angelica Angelica root, leaf, stalk, seed Angelica Archangelica, L.S.P.
Anisum Anise seed Pimpinalla Anisum, L.S.P.
Antimonium Antimony Antimonium sulphuratum
Arabicum Gummi Gum Arabic Mimosa nilotica, L.S.P.
Argentum Silver
Arnica Leopard's Bane herb, flower, root Arnica Montana, L.S.P. Dissolves coagulated blood, diuretic, diaphoretic
Arum Cuckow-pint fresh root Arum masculatum, L.S.P.
Asa foetida Gum-resin Ferula Assa foetida, L.S.P.
Asarum Asarabaca leaf Asarum europaeum, L.S.P.
Avena Oat seed Avena sativa, L.S.P.
Aurantium Hispalense Seville orange leaf, flower, juice, outer rind Citrus aurantium convulsions
Balsamum Canadense Canadian Balsam Pinus balsamea, L.S.P.
Balsamum Copaiva Balsam of Copaiva Copaifera officinalis, L.S.P.
Balsamum Peruvianum Balsam of Peru Myroxolon peruiferum
Balsamum Tolutanum Balsam of Tolu Toluifera Balsamum, L.S.P.
Bardana Burdock root Actium Lappa, L.S.P.
Barilla Barilla Natron impurum
Beccabunga Brook lime herb Veronica Beccabunga, L.S.P.
Benzoe Benzoin Styrax Benzoe
Bistorta Bistorta root Polygonum Bistorta, L.S.P.
Bolus Gallicus French Bole
Borax Borax Natron boracicatum
Calamu aromaticus Sweet scented Flag root Acorus Calamus, L.S.P.
Calx Quick-lime recently burnt Lapis calcareus purus recens uftus
Camphorus Camphor Laurus Camphora, L.S.P.
Cancer Crab claws Cancer Purgurus
Canella alba White Canella, Winter's Bark
Cantharis Cantharis, Spanish Fly Meloe vesicatorius, lsn
Cardamine Cuckow Flower, Lady's Smock flower Cardamine pratensis, L.S.P. asthma, chorea
Cardamomum minus Lesser Cardamom seed Amomum repens
Carduus benedictus Blessed Thistle herb Centaurea benedicta
Carica Fig fruit Ficus Carica, L.S.P.
Caruon Caraway seed Carum Carui, L.S.P.
Caryophyllus aromatica Cloves unripe seed vessel Caryophyllus aromatica, L.S.P.
Caryophyllum rubrum Clove, July-flower flower Dianthus Caryophyllus, L.S.P.
Cascarilla Cascarilla bark
Cassia fistularis Cassia of the Cane fruit Cassia Fistula, L.S.P.
Castoreum Russicum Russian Castor membranous sacs
in the inguinal region
Castor fibre, lsn
Catechu Japan Earth inspissated juice Mimosa Catechu
Centaureum minus Lesser Centaury top Gentiara Centaurium, L.S.P.
Cera alba, flava White, Yellow Flax
Cervus Hartshorn (deer) horn Cervus Elaphus
Chamaemelum Chamomile single flower Anthemis nobilis, L.S.P.
Cicuta Hemlock flower, seed Conium maculatum, L.S.P. scrophulous, venereal ulcers,
scabies, phthisis
Cinars Artichoke leaf Cynara Scolymus, L.S.P. diuretic, for icterus, purgative
Cinchona Cinchona bark Cinchona officinalis, L.S.P. yertian fever
Cineres Clavellati Pot-ash Kali impurum
Cinnamomum Cinnamon bark, essential oil Laurus Cinnamomum, L.S.P.
Coccinella Cochineal Coccus Cacti, lsn
Cochlearis hortensis Garden Scurvy-grass herb Cochlearia offinallis, L.S.P.
Colchicum Meadow Saffron fresh root Colchicum autumnale, L.S.P. diuretic
Colocynthis Coloqintida, bitter Apple pith of the fruit Cucumis colocynthis, L.S.P.
Colomba Columba root corroborant, antiseptic in vomiting,
diarrhoea, dysentry, cholera,
bilious complaints
Contrayerva Contrayerva root Dorstenia Contrayerva, L.S.P.
Corallium rubrum Red Coral Isis nobilis, lsn
Coriandrum Coriander seed Coriandrum sativum, L.S.P.
Creta Chalk
Crocus Saffron stigma of the flower Crocus sativus, L.S.P.
Cubeba Cubeb Piper Cubeba, L. Suppl. P.
Cucumis agrestis Wild Cucumber fresh fruit Momordica Elaterium, L.S.P.
Cuminum Cummin seed Cuminum Cyminum, L.S.P.
Cuprum Copper, Acetated Copper, Verdigris
Vitriolum coeruleum Blue Vitriol Cuprum vitriolatum
Curcumin Turmeric root Curcumin longa, L.S.P.
Cydonia malus Quince fruit, seed Pyrus Cydonia, L.S.P.
Dog-rose fruit called hip Rosa canina, L.S.P.
Daucus sylvestris Wild Carrot seed Daucus Carota, L.S.P.
Digitalis Foxglove herb Digitalis purpurea, L.S.P. Serophulous complaints, epilepsy,
hydropic cases (as a diuretic),
slows the pulse
Elemi Elemi the refin. Amyris Elemifera, L.S.P.
Enula campana Elecampane root Inula Helenium, L.S.P.
Eryngium Eryngo root Eryngium maritinum, L.S.P.
Ferrum Iron
Filix male Fern root Polypodium Felix mas, L.S.P. antithelmitic
Foeniculum dulce Sweet Fennel seed Anethum Foeniculum, L.S.P.
Foenum Graecum Fenugreek seed Trgonella Foenum, L.S.P.
Galbanum Galbanum Gum-resin Bubon Galbanum, L.S.P.
Galla The Gall the excresccence og the insect
Cynips Quercus on the leaf and
tender footstalks of Quercus Robur
Gambogia Gamboge Gum-resin
Genista Broom top and seed Spartium scoparium, L.S.P. Deobstruant, diuretic, laxative,
dropsies, ascites
Gentiana Gentian root Gentiana lutea, L.S.P.
Ginseng Ginseng root panax quinquefolium, L.S.P. restorative, antispasmodic, convulsions
Glycyrrhiza Glycyrrhiza root Glycyrrhiza glabra, L.S.P.
Granatum Pomegranite petals, fruit rind Punica Granatum, L.S.P.
Gratiolla Hedge-hyssop, Herb of Grace herb Gratiola officinalis antithelmitic, deobtusent,
diuretic, purgative.
For leucophlegmatia, dropsy,
mania, melancholy
Guaiacum Guaiacum wood, bark, gum-resin Guaiacum officinale, L.S.P.
Haematoxylon Campechy Wood, Logwood Haematoxylon Campechianum, L.S.P.
Helleboraster Bearsfoot leaf Helleborus foetidus, L.S.P. purgayive, antithelmitic
Helleborus albus White Hellebore root Veratum album, L.S.P.
Helleborus niger Black Hellebore root Helleborus niger, L.S.P.
Hordeum barley seed, see busked, pearl barley Hordeum dislichon, L.S.P.
Hydragyrus Quicksilver
Hypericum St john'sWort flower Hypericum perforatum, L.S.P.
Jalapium Jalap root
Ichthyocolla Isinglass, Fish-glue Acipenser ruthensus, lsn
Ipecacuanha Ipecacuanha/td> Acipenser ruthensis, lsn root
Iris Florentine Orris root Iris florentina, L.S.P.
Juglans Walnut unripe fruit Juglans regia, L.S.P. antithelmitic, purgative
Juniper Juniper berry, top Juniperus communis, L.S.P.
Kino kino the resin diarrhoea, leucorrhoea, laxity, acrimony
Ladanum Ladanum resin Cistus creticus, L.S.P.
Lavendula Lavender flower Lavandula Spica, L.S.P.
Laurus Bay leaf, berry Larus nobilis, L.S.P.
Limon Limon juice, outer rind, oil called Essence Citrus Medica, L.S.P.
Linum Flax seed called linseed Linum usitassimum, L.S.P.
Lujula Wood Sorrel leaf Oxalis Acetosella, L.S.P.
Magnesia Vitriolata, Vitriolated Magnesia Bitter Purgative salt
Majorana Sweet Marjoram herb Origanum Majorana, L.S.P.
Malva Mallow leaf, flower Malva sylvestris, L.S.P.
Manna Manna
Marrubium album White Horehound herb Marrubium vulgare, L.S.P.
Marum syriacum Syrian Herb-mastich herb Teucrium marum, L.S.P.
Mastiche Mastiche resin Pistacia Lentiscus, L.S.P.
Mel Honey
Melissa Balm herb Melissa officinalis, L.S.P.
Mentha piperitis Peppermint herb Mentha piperita, L.S.P.
Mentha sativa Spear-mint herb Mentha viridis, L.S.P.
Mezereum Mezereon, Spurge-Olive bark, root Daphne Mezereum, L.S.P. venereal nodes, peritoneal thickening
Millepeda Wood-louse Oniscus Asellus, lsn
Morus Mulberry fruit Morus nigra, L.S.P.
Moschus Musk from membranous cavity near the umbilicus moschus Moschiferus, lsn
Myristica Nutmeg fruit, essential oil, expressed oil Myristica Moschata, Acta Holmiensia
Myrrha Myrrh Gum-resin
Nasturtium aquaticum Water-cress fresh herb Sysimbrium Nasturtium aquaticum, L.S.P.
Nicotiana Tobacco leaf Nicotiana Tabacum, L.S.P.
Nitrum Nitre Kali nitratum
Olibanum olibanum Gum-resin Juniperus lycia, L.S.P.
Oliva Olive fruit, oil Olea europa, L.S.P.
Opium Opium
Opopanax Opopanax Gum-resin Pastinaca Opopanax, L.S.P.
Origanum Wild Marjoram herb Origanum vulgare, L.S.P.
Ostrea Oyster shell Ostria edulis, lsn
Ovis Sheep suet Ovis aries, lsn
Ovum Pullet's Egg Ovum gallinaceum
Papaver album White Poppy capsule Papaver somniferum, L.S.P.
Papaver erraticum Wild Poppy flower Papaver Rhoeas, L.S.P.
Pareira brava pareira brava root Cissampelos pareira, L.S.P. suppression of urine, nephritic complaints, calculous complaints, expectorant, icteric colic
Parietaria Pellitory of the Wall herb Parietaria officinalis, L.S.P.
Pentaphyllum Cinquefoil root Potentilla reptans, L.S.P.
Petroleum Petroleu, Rock-Oil Bitumen petroleum, lsn
Petroselinum Parsley root, seed Apium Petroselinum, L.S.P.
Pimento Aspice berry Myrtus Pimenta, L.S.P.
Piper indicum India Pepper capsule Capsicim annum, L.S.P.
Piper Longum Long Pepper fruit Piper longum, L.S.P.
Piper Nigrum Black Pepper berry Piper nigrum, L.S.P.
Pix Burgundica Burgundy Pitch
Pix liquida tar
- Cerussia
- Lithargyrus
- Minium
red Lead
Prunus Gallica Plumb, French Prune, Prune Prunus domesticus, L.S.P.
Prunus sylvestris Sloe fruit Prunus spinosa, L.S.P.
Pulegium Pennyroyal herb, flower Mentha Pulegium, L.S.P.
Pyrethrum Pellitory of Spain root Anthemis Pyrethrum, L.S.P.
Quassia Quassy wood, root, bark Quassia amara, L.S.P. tonic, stomachic, antiseptic
to treat tone, anorexia, hypochondriasis
fevers (epidemic, intermittent, remittent)fevers
Quercus Oak bark Quercus Robur, L.S.P.
Raphanus rusticanus Horse-radish root Cochlearia Armoracia, L.S.P.
Rhabarbarum Rhubarb root Rheum palmatum. L.S.P.
Ribes nigrum Black Currant fruit Ribes nigrum, L.S.P.
Ribes rubrum Red Current fruit Ribes rubrum, L.S.P.
Ricinus Palma Christi oil of the seed Ricinus communis, lps drastic purgative
Rosa damascena Damask Rose petal Rosa damascena, Aitoni Hortus Kewensis
Rose rubra RedRose petal Rosa Gallica, L.S.P.
Ros marinus Rosemary flower and top Rosmarinus officianalis, L.S.P.
Rubia madder root Rubia tinctorum, L.S.P.
Rubus idaeus Raspberry fruit Rubus idaeus, L.S.P.
Ruta Rue herb Ruta graveolens, L.S.P.
Sabina Savin leaf Juneperus Sabina, L.S.P.
Saccharum non purifcatum Soft Sugar
Sacchaurm purificatum Double-refined Sugar Sacchuarum bis coctum
Sagapenum Sagapenum Gum-resin
Sal Ammoniacus Sal Ammoniac Ammonia muriata
Sal muriaticus Sea Salt natron muriatum
Salvia Sage leaf Salvia ofocinalis, L.S.P.
Sambucus Elder inner bark, flower, berry Sambucus niger, L.S.P.
Sanguis draconis Dragon's Blood resin
Santalum rubrum Red Saunders wood Pterocarpus Santolinus, L. Suppl. P.
Santonicum Santonicum, Wormfeed top Artemisia Santoncum, L.S.P.
Sapo Soap Sapo ex olivae & ntro confectus
Sarcocolla Sarcocol Gum-resin
Sarsaparilla Sarsaparilla root Smilax Sarsaparilla, L.S.P.
Sassafras Sassafras wood, root, bark Laurus Sassafras, L.S.P.
Sammonium Scammony Gum-resin Convolvulus Scammonia, L.S.P.
Scilla Squill root Scilla maritima, L.S.P.
Scordium Scordium, Water-germander herb Teucrium Scodium, L.S.P.
Senna Senna leaf Caffia Senna, L.S.P.
Seneka Rattlesnake-root, Seneka root Polygala Senega, L.S.P. diuretic, gentle purgative
Serpentaria Virginiana Vurginian Serpentary root Aristolochia Serpentaria, L.S.P.
Simarouba Simarouba bark Quassia Simarouba, L. Suppl. P. epidemic dysentry, dysenteric cholic
chronic hepatic flux, lientery
leucorrhoea, worms, demulcent, tonic
Sinapi Mustard seed Sinapi nigra, L.S.P.
Sium Water-parsnip heb Sium nodiflorum, L.S.P. antiscorbutic, scrophula
Sperma ceti Spermaceti Sevum Ceti crystallisatum
Spigelia indian Pink root Spigelia marilandica, A.H.K antithelmitic, laxative, purgative, emetic
(side effects - vertigo, simness of sight
convulsions of the glove of the eye)
Spina cervida Buckthorn berry Rhamnus catharticus, L.S.P.
Spiritus vinosus rectificatus Rectified Spirit of Wine
Spiritus vinosis tenuior Proof Spirit of Wine
Spongia Sponge Spongia officinalis, L.S.N.
Stannum Tin
Staphisagria Staves-acre seed Delphinium Staphisagria, L.S.P. destruction of external vermin
Styrax Storax resin Stryax officnalis, L.S.P.
Sulphur Sulphur
Sulphuris Flores Flowers of Sulphur Sulphur sublimatum
Sus Hog lard Sus Scrofa, L.S.N.
Tamarindus Tamarind fruit Tamarindus indica, L.S.P.
Tanacetum Tansy flower, herb Tanacetum vulgare, L.S.P.
Taraxacum Dandelion root, herb Leontodon Taraxacum, L.S.P. diuretic, aperient, laxative
thick sizy blood, jaundice
impetigo, scabies, kidney stones
dropsy from induration of the liver
bilious calculi, ascites, ostructed viscera
costiveness, tubercles of the lungs
Terebinthina chia Chio, Cyprus Turpentine Pistacia Terebinthus, L.S.P.
Terebenthina vulgaris common Turpentine
Thus Frankinsesne resin
Tormentilla Tormentil root Tormentilla erecta, L.S.P.
Tragacantha Tragacanth Australagus Tragacantha, L.S.P.
Trifolium paludosum Buckbean heb Menyanthes trifoliata, L.S.P.
Triticum Wheat flour, amylum, starch Triticum hybernum, L.S.P.
Tussilago Coltsfoot herb Tussilago Farfara, L.S.P.
Valeriana sylvestris Wild Valerian root Valeriana officinaiis, L.S.P.
Viola Vilet fresh flower Viola odorata, L.S.P.
Vitis Vine fruit, Uva passa, raisin, vinum, wine Vitis vinifera, L.S.P.
Tartarum Tartar Tartarum impurum
Tartari crystalli Crystals of Tartar Tartarum purificatum
Acetum Vinegar
Ulmus Elm inner bark Ulmus campestris, L.S.P. chronic cutaneous eruptions
Urtica Stinging Nettle herb Urtica dioica, L.S.P. nephritic complaints, internal haemorrhages
haemoptysis, uterine haemorrhages, bloody urine
palsy, febrile stupor (stinging the limb with the nettles)
epistaxis (applied inside the mouth)
Uva Ursi Bear's Whortleberry leaf Arbutus Uva Ursi, L.S.P. calculus complaints
Zedoaria Zedoary root Kaempferia rotunda, L.S.P.
- Lapis Calaminaris Calamine
- Tutia, Tutty
- Vitriolum Album White Vitriol Zincum vitriolatum impurum
Zingiber Ginger root Amomum Zingiber, L.S.P.