Archives Research Guide: Sources for Medicinal Plants 19th 20th Centuries




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Archives Research Guide: Sources for Medicinal Plants 19th - 20th Centuries
This Guide provides a detailed list of sources in the Archives relating to medicinal plants.

Some of the files mentioned cover the collection of medicinal plants in the United Kingdom during the Second World War.


Some of the collections described relate to medicinal plants in their entirety, others are part of larger collections. Not all material has been catalogued; in this case, every effort has been made to give a general description of the collection, but only a closer perusal of the papers will reveal the extent of their usefulness.
To keep this guide to a reasonable size, the full list of catalogued collections has not been included; however, these can be obtained either on line through The National Archives Catalogue at

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/searchthearchives/catalogue.htm

or can be sent as a Word list by mail or as an e-mail attachment upon request.


This guide is not comprehensive, as not all our collections have been catalogued; however, we will endeavour to update it as we progress with our cataloguing backlog. For up to date information contact us at archives@kew.org 0208 332 5417.

Contents:

1/ Arrow Poison

2/ Leprosy Plants

3/ Camphor

4/ Rosehip and the Vegetable Crude Drugs Committee (1937-1940s)

5/ Cinchona or Quinine

6/ Siamese Drugs and Medicinal Plants

7/ Plant Uses and Chemistry



8/ Archived Registry Files on Medicinal Plants

1/ Arrow Poisons
1.1 Africa, Arrow Poisons 1876-1901: 1 Volume
Volume divided in 3 parts: Strophanthus (folios 1-51), Oubaio (folios 52-94) and Wazaramo (folios 95-102).
Strophanthus Hispidus or Kombé (folios 1-51): This section treat with the plant Strophanthus Hispidus or Kombé found in Mozambique and on the shores of the Zambesi River. Used by Native tribes. Strophanthus is used by native tribes as Arrow poison for arrow heads or darts for the purposes of hunting. Correspondence from Henry G O’Neill, the Consul of Mozambique, and Dr J Heathcote, relating to the collection of poisonous plants in Gasa country e and sent for Jos Hooker’ s attention, used by native tribes as arrow poison. More specifically, the plants were collected in “Shingwa” the country on the south bank of the Sabai river. He gives details on how the natives collect and use the plant for their arrow heads; he gives the local name as being ‘Inhambane’. The folios contain a mixture of correspondence from various people and organisations relating to arrow poison and Strophantus; also includes two published pamphlets from Thomas R Fraser ‘Kombé Arrow-Poison (Strophantus Hispidus D.C.) of Africa’ 1870s and two others in German by Dr L Lewin ‘zur Kenntis einiger Acokanthera – und Carissa-Arten’ 1889 as well as Acokanthera-Arten und das Ouabaian‘ 1893; several press cuttings on the subject with illustrations from various publications such as ‘The British and Colonial Drugist’ 1888, ‘The Pharmaceutical Journal and Transactions’ 1889 and ‘The Parmaceutical Journal and Transactions’ 1889; they are concerned with the analysis of the Strophantus plant and seeds and the effect of the extracted poison tested on rabbits and frogs. Folio 41 comprises a letter from Thomas Fraser from Edinburgh University dated 23 Jan 1892 to Professor Oliver at Kew, whereby he encloses seeds of Strophantus (enclosed) which he says are ‘different from those of Stophantus hispidus, which seeds I am told are being told aresubstituted for the S. hispidus…’.
Oubaio (folios 53-94) Oubaio is a Somali arrow poison used by tribes of East Tropical Africa and other African tribes named ‘Wa Nyiika’, ‘Wa Gyriama’ and ‘Wa Kamba’ and associated spellings. The poison was used for hunting as well as warfare and said to have been prepared from the wood of the stem and root of a tree, the latter not having been botanically identified. by This section as the first, comprises correspondence, press cuttings and articles such as ‘A W Gerrard’s paper “Wanika” A new African Arrow Poison: Its Composition and Properties’ (Late 19th C).; includes notes by various staff at Kew, a published pamphlet by M Jules Poisson ‘Association Française pour l’Avancement des Sciences Fusionnée avec l’Association Scientifique de France – Congrès D’Oran 1888 Note sur le Oubaïo’.
Wazaramo (folios 95-102) This section contains correspondence from John Kirk and Sydney Ringer addressed to William Thiselton-Dyer on the arrow poison used by the Wazaramo tribe as well as a manuscript report by Sydney Ringer and Harrington Sainsbury entitled ‘Report on the physiological action of an arrow poison used on the East coast of Tropical Africa by the Wazaramo’ (late 19th C).

1.2 Miscellaneous Report Gold Coast Cultural Products 1888-1906 (I-W)

This volume is mostly concerned with economic botany and is divided into fourteen distinct parts; however, only two relate to medicinal plants found in the Gold Coast.


The first of these two parts is contained within folios 350-382 and is entitled ‘Medicinal Plants’ (Kola etc..)’. It comprises correspondence reports and illustrations on medicinal plants found in the Gold Coast, the type of plants used by natives for treating ailments such as the fruit bark of the ‘Edooah Ahyen’ tree (for culinary purposes), a report from Acting Governor Bird from Cape Coast Castle, July 11 1890 (folios 354-365) which discusses the diseases suffered by tribes of the Gold Coast; the report also mentions treatments the natives use for treating diseases such as dysentery and snake bites; and discusses the uses of certain plants in child birth and abortion. The report is accompanied by coloured illustrations of the following plants: Emboo shrub, Cola (or Kola) tree, Tanta Anana plant, Etua Plant, Empoompoo cruciferous plant and Yanchie. Folios 373-382 relate to the properties of the Cola or Kola nut, used by natives as a stimulant which also enables them to take less nourishment without loss of strength and vitality. Folios 383 to 398 relate to fruits called by the natives assarbah or thamé and known scientifically as Sideroxylon dulcificum and Phrynium Daniellii, which, after being sampled, enables the consumption of bitter or sour food, making it taste sweet and palatable.
The second part, contained in folios 443-489, consists of correspondence, notes and two unpublished typescript reports concerned with arrow poison and its antidote. The poison is said to come from the Strophanthus plant and the antidote from the Rubiaceae (folio 446). The first report, written by Albert J Chalmers, Assistant Colonial Surgeon, Aggra Colonial Hospital (folios 452-469), relates to ‘The Fra Fra Arrow Poison’ 1st Sep 1899 and contains eleven parts, mainly consisting on experiments carried out as well as the probable source and nature of the poison; this report is accompanied by drawings (folios 470-472) showing the arrow half full size, the upper and under side of the leaf full size, and the seed pod full size. The second typescript report by P J Garland (folios 473-482), discusses also the arrow poison used by the Fra Fra as well as its antidote. An appendix to the report gives a description of the shrub from which the poison is obtained and also features some drawings of the plant.
Medicinal Uses: Some of the poisonous plants mentioned above, and especially Strophanthus, were and some to a certain extent still are, used for medicinal purposes. Locally, it was used for a wide range of afflictions, including rheumatism, venereal diseases, worms, fever and snakebite. The drug is also prescribed for severe heart conditions e.g. cardial asthma and myocardinal infarct.

For further information on the subject, see H J Beentje ‘A Monograph on Strophanthus DC (Apocynaceae)’ Published 1982 and held in the Library.

1.3 Papers of Professor Norman Grainger Bisset (1925-1993) Uncatalogued.

Notes, correspondence and photographs on plant alkaloids and ethnography. Although these papers have not been yet catalogued, access to the collection is permitted. The Archives does possess a file list and some of these relate to arrow poison in Africa and China. The papers also contain some photographs, some may represent arrows and poisonous plants. A brief description of the collection as well as a list of Professor Bisset’s publications can be viewed on the Library catalogue.



2. Leprosy Plants
2.1. Leprosy Plants 1920-1928 (ECB/1/1) – Catalogued.
This volume is divided in seven indexed sections with sub-sections. These relate to Taraktogenos Kurzii or Chaulmoogra tree: consisting of correspondence and notes discussing the possible introduction of seeds in the West Indies (folios 1-10) as well as seeds of Hydnocarpus Wightiana ( folios 12-18) and Hydnocarpus Anthelmintica (folio 35); the use of these plants’ oil for the treatment of leprosy is discussed in folios 18-20. Most of the correspondence relates to the growing of seeds in Calcutta, Straits Settlements, Siam (Thailand) Dominica and South Africa, and demands for seeds from the following countries: Barbados, Nigeria, Colombia, Mauritius and West Indies.
See also the Registered File below:-
5/L/1 Leprosy Plants, General (1928 - 1946)

Contains correspondence and notes relating to plants use for the treatment of leprosy. In particular, the plants mentioned are Chaulmooga trees from Dominica - Hydnocarpus Wightiana and Taraktogenos kurzil amongst others - and the oil produced from these. There is also some correspondence relating to the sourcing of these trees in other countries.




3. Camphor
3.1. Camphor 1892-1928

This volume, indexed section, relates mainly to the production of camphor made by various countries, and also to some extent, on the various uses of camphor, medicinal and otherwise. The countries discussed producing camphor are: Ceylon, Japan, Hong-Kong, Formosa, India, Philippines, United States and West Indies. The volume also contains correspondence on the subject, mostly addressed to the Director and senior staff at Kew, featuring individuals such as Robin Price from Formosa on the uses of Camphor, Dr Tempany, Director of Agriculture in Mauritius, as well as other individuals involved in agriculture in the countries mentioned above. Most of the volume deals mainly with the production of camphor as opposed to its uses, although some useful information can be found in the correspondence as to local uses.



4. Rosehip and the Vegetable Crude Drugs Committee (1937-1940s)
4.1. Professor Ronald Melville (1903-1985) Papers - Uncatalogued.

Professor Melville’s papers include research carried out during the Second World War on rosehip as a source of Vitamin C; he was also a member of the Vegetable Drugs Committee at Kew during the same period. Amongst his papers, are contained two files on the subjects cited above. One file on medicinal plants, relates to research and collection carried out during the 1940s on native plants that could be used for medicinal purposes. The papers include instructions on collection and drying methods, minutes of the Committee on the Collection of Native Medicinal Plants, the papers also contain instructions issued for the collection of medicinal plants, correspondence on the subject as well as lists of plants required.


Also included in this collection is a file containing papers and reports on the Crude Drugs Committee (1937-1941) containing mostly Committee minutes of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission and some correspondence on the subject of crude drugs.
For further information on Rosehip, see also Registered File below:-
PRO 1/MUS/28/6 ‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply. Rose Hips’ (1941).

Contains notes and correspondence with the Vegetable Drugs Committee concerning the use of wild and garden rose hips as a source of vitamin C; also contains notes and correspondence on the national collection of rose hip.



5. Cinchona or Quinine
5.1 Papers relating to John Elliot Howard 1836 – 1951 Catalogued.

Howard’s papers relate to his life’s work, the extraction of the anti-malaria drug quinine from the bark of the Cinchona (cinchonaceae) genus of South American tree. These have been fully catalogued and the full list of papers can be seen in list reference JEH available from the Archives.


The bulk of material contains correspondence to J.E. Howard regarding Cinchona, mainly in the form of scientific discussion and research, collection and donation of specimens, and scientific and commercial exploration. It dates from the early to late 19th century. The correspondence is international. The papers also includes documents relating to the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and its museum collections (For example, correspondence from Joseph Ince and Daniel Hanbury, and formal acknowledgements for specimens donated by Howard to the Society’s Museum. – see list for details.) There is also printed material, ranging from newspaper cuttings, journal and periodical articles to East India Company reports and printed records.
This archive contains important information about the international network of botanists and commercial explorers in the field. It contains particularly strong information on the growing of Cinchona in India.

5.2 Papers relating to Richard Spruce 1817 – 1893 - Catalogued.

Richard Spruce explored the Amazon region in South America in the 1840s and 1850s for the purpose of collecting plants. Notably, he collected seed from Cinchona trees which became the foundation of the plantations in India and Ceylon which produced quinine, bringing relief to thousands of malaria sufferers. This collection has been fully catalogued under reference RSP and is available for viewing in the Archives.

There are observations of a Cinchona forest in volume RSP/1/4 ‘Notes on Mosses and S American Journal’ (c.1840-1879).

File RSP/2/2 Correspondence (c.1845 – 1880) contains a printed report on the expedition to procure Cinchona (1860) as well as papers relating to the introduction of Cinchona into India (1860).

Volume RSP/3/1 Cinchona Pamphlets (c.1850s - 1860s) contains a number of printed articles by Spruce, Robert Cross, J.E. Howard and Sir Clements Markham, some of which had been previously published in various journals. These articles are concerned with the discovery and procurement of Cinchona, used in the production of quinine, in Peru and Ecuador. Howard’s articles provide a more scientific look at the plant. The volume also includes some maps and hand written notes. At the back are some translations of words in the native tongue of the area.

5.3 Miscellaneous Reports: Cinchona - Uncatalogued.

This collection relates mainly to Economic Botany and some volumes to Cinchona in particular. Although they have not been catalogued, the volumes each contain an index of sections. The relevant volumes are listed below.


1/ India. Economic Products. Cinchona c. 1859-1888).

2/ India. Cinchona. Return. East India (Cinchona plant) (1852 – 1866)

3/ India. Cinchona- Return. East India (Cinchona cultivation) (1866 – 1877)

4/ Sikkim. Cinchona Febrifuge (1880 – 1888)

5/ Sikkim. Cinchona (1863 – 1900)

6/ Sikkim. Cinchona (1865 – 1913)

7/ Bengal. Cinchona Government Cinchona Plantations and Factory in Bengal Annual

Reports (1912 – 1937) Miscellaneous notes on Cinchona (c. 1910 – 1941)

8/ Madras. Cinchona (1860 –18 97)

9/ Madras. Cinchona Reports (1861 – 1885)

10/ Madras. Cinchona Reports (1885 – 1900)

11/ Madras. Cinchona reports Correspondence, Reports etc. (1902 – 1939)

11/ Ceylon. Cinchona (1859 -1890)

12/ St. Helena. Cinchona (1868 -1898)

13/ Jamaica. Cinchona (1860 – 1900)

See also the following Registered Files in section 8 below; they will also contain description of contents:-
1/MUS/28/4

‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply. Foreign Drugs. Cinchona’ (1941).


2/IND/46

India. Red Bark (1899)


5/C/5

Cinchona.[Africa] (1917)


5/C/5/1

Cinchona. Manuscripts connected with Holland's article on ledger bark and red bark (1931).



6. Siamese Drugs and Medicinal Plants
6.1 Papers of Arthur Kerr (1877-1942) - Uncatalogued.

Medical Doctor and later Government Botanist, he practiced in Siam (Thailand). Box 35 of his collection of papers contains notes and correspondence on Siamese drugs, as well as well as a file on Siamese Medicinal Plants “Exhibited at the Eighth Congress of the Far Eastern

Association of Tropical Medicine". Botanical Section, Ministry of Commerce and

Communications, Bangkok, December 1930. Printed by the Bangkok Times Press Ltd’,

November 1930. Although this collection has not been catalogued, a box and file list exists giving an indication of relevant material. These are:-

BOX 35
(a) Siamese Drugs: notes and correspondence

(b) Scented Woods: notes, letters, slips

(c) "Some Siamese Medicinal Plants: Exhibited at the Eighth Congress of the Far Eastern

Association of Tropical Medicine." Botanical Section, Ministry of Commerce and

Communications, Bangkok, December 1930 printed by ‘The Bangkok Times Press Ltd.’.

November 1930.



7. Plant uses and Chemistry
7.1 Papers of Dr. Leslie Hall (1900-1990)

The papers, covering the period 1920-1991, consist of 29 boxes altogether. Although this collection has not yet been catalogued, access is permitted. The papers’ contents have been briefly described on the Library catalogue. They consist for the most part (boxes 1-22 and 29) of compendium of plant uses, box 22 contain published papers, box 9 miscellaneous items and boxes 1-12 papers relating to plant chemistry literature survey, index to pharmacopeias and various other notes. Some papers in the collection relate to medicinal plants.


See also Registered File below:-
4/P/9 ‘British Pharmacopoeia Commission. General Medical Council, London W.I’ (1930)

Contains correspondence to and from the Pharmacopeia Commission, General Medical Council, relating to pharmaceutical properties, uses and experiments of certain plants such as Ephedrinae as well as botanical sources.



8/ Archived Registry Files on Medicinal Plants
These are official files created by staff recording various activities carried out by Kew and retained for permanent preservation due to the importance of the information they contain. The following files relate to medicinal plants:-.

QG 75 ‘Museums. Rauvolfia. General correspondence’ (1956 - 1969).

Contains Correspondence and notes on the species Rauvolfia relating to plants found in the Far East and Africa. Includes typescript notes by T A Russell entitled ‘Occurrence and characteristics of Rauvolfia cambodiana Pierre’. Includes correspondence in French and Portuguese. This species was used for the treatment of high blood pressure and related diseases.



Z00033 ‘Japan. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Experimental farm for medicinal plants’ (1950)

Contains correspondence to and from the Experimental farm for Medicinal Plants, Saitama-Ken, Japan asking for seeds of specific medicinal plants (list supplied). Plants mentioned also include Chenopodium and Artemisia. Contains also a certificate of Inspection of Exporting Plants from the Japanese Government Plant Quarantine Service addressed to Kew.



1/MUS/25/3 Agar-Agar Substitutes 1940-1941

Notes and correspondence on Agar-Agar prepared from seaweed Gelidium Amansi and its substitute Chondrus Crispus or chondragar.



1/MUS/25/5 ‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply. Material for Drug Extraction’ (1940-1943)

Contains correspondence with Government departments regarding uses of plants such as nettles, and the suggestion that they should be collected by Scouts and school children; a notice from the Devon County Education Committee ‘Children’s Holiday Campaign’ with activities in which children can be employed including some plant collecting. Includes notes on the collection of drug plants such as digitalis leaves, dandelion roots, Colchicum corns and the despatch of drugs; a list of plants urgently needed, correspondence and notes on the native medicinal plants and their collection by children, Women’s Institutes and other volunteers, with the help of illustrations. Also contains correspondence and notes on drying methods and machinery for medicinal plants; includes a comprehensive report on the collection of native medicinal plants covering methods of collection, drying, a comprehensive list of plants required and an allocation of plants for collection on a County basis.



1/MUS/25/5/1 ‘Museums. Collection of Drug Plants. Pharmaceutical Colleges and Instructors. Commercial Herb Farms’ (1941-1942).

Correspondence relating to the collection of medicinal plants, to be done by Scouts, Girl Guides and Women’s Institutes. Also discusses the problems associated with the identification and drying of plants. Includes a list of British wild herbs.



1/MUS/25/5/2 ‘Museums. Collection of Drug Plants. Drug Firms’ (1941-1942).

Contains correspondence with manufacturing chemists, distillers, distributors of essential oils and Herb Specialists concerning the supply of British plants with medicinal properties such as broom (Scoparii cacuminal), nettles, hawthorn berries, foxglove leaves, colchicum corns, dandelion and belladonna seeds. Includes a list of herbs and seeds.



1/MUS/25/5/3 ‘Museums. Collection of Drug Plants. Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Youth Organisers’ (1941-1942)

Correspondence with Boy Scouts and Girl Guides and other Youths organisation as well as Councils Education committees and manufacturing Chemists, concerning the collection of native medicinal plants. Includes a copy of a practical guide ‘Collection of Drug Plants by Boy Scouts’ Dated April 1941, issued by the Boy Scouts Association, giving detailed instructions as to the plants and the manner in which they have to be collected and despatched; plants include Nettles, Dandelion roots (Taraxacum spp.) Common Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea L), Meadow Saffron or Autumn Crocus (colchicum autumnale).



1/MUS/25/5/4 ‘Museums. Collection of Drug Plants. Women's Institutes, Scottish Women's Rural Institutes, W.V.S’ (1941-1943).

Contains correspondence with various Women’s Institutes concerning the collecting and drying of medicinal herbs; includes instructions for collection and drying of plants; names of plants requires is mentioned such as deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna)



1/MUS/27 ‘Museums. Instruction in Collection and Drying of Medicinal Plants
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’. (1942)

This file contains correspondence concerning help sought from students of pharmacy colleges to collect native medicinal plants for Kew. Also includes correspondence and notes regarding the creation of instructions for collection and a list of specimen required.



1/MUS/28 ‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply. Agenda and Minutes’ (1941-1947).

Contains agendas, minutes of meetings and notes of the Vegetable Drug Committee, seeking to source medicinal plants in the United Kingdom due to the closure of foreign source of supply. Comprises methods of collection, drying as well as plants sought. Also includes some figures showing amounts collected.



1/MUS/28/1 ‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply -. Reports and Memoranda’ (1941- 1947)

Contains unpublished printed and typescript reports, correspondence and memoranda on War time supplies and production of vegetable and medicinal herbs from Government departments such as the Ministries of Supply and Health; contains details of plants sought and their properties as well as War time production figures for native medicinal plants.



1/MUS/28/2 ‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply Agar-Agar. Correspondence and Reports’ (1941-1945).

Contains papers relating to the use of algae and seaweed as an Agar substitute for pharmaceutical use, in particular Gelidium corneum and Ahnfeldia plicata.. Also includes lists of other possible seaweeds.



1/MUS/28/3 Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply. Collection and Drying of Medicinal Plants (1941-1944)

Contains mainly correspondence of the Committee relating to the collection and drying of native medicinal plants by untrained volunteers; contains papers relating to the drying of specific plants such as Foxgloves as well as more general drying instructions. Contains also a printed circular from the Ministry of Education on the use of schools in War time on the ‘Collection of leaves and roots of common wild plants’ and a ‘ List of persons and Institutions prepared to give instructions on the Collection and Drying of Medicinal plants – 1942’.



1/MUS/28/4 ‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply. Foreign Drugs. Cinchona’ (1941-1945)

This file contains correspondence, notes and reports on the collection and manufacture of Cinchona and derivative products available within the British Empire. Includes lists of plants, geographical locations indication where collection can be made and the consumption of Quinine within the British Empire; also includes a report entitled ‘A summary of considerations bearing on the proposal to manufacture Totaquina in East Africa in War Time Emergency Measure [1941]; contains correspondence and notes on Cinchona substitutes, minutes of a meeting of the Vegetable Drugs Committee and the Cinchona production Sub-Committee (1943) notes on seeds of medicinal plants, and correspondence on Lythrum salicaria and Datura stramonium.



1/MUS/28/5 ‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply. Native Drugs. (1941-1946)’

Contains notes and correspondence with the Vegetable Drugs Committee concerning the cultivation and supply of medicinal plants such as Rhamnus and Salix species, comfrey leaves, malefern, belladonna seeds and Ergot of rye.



1/MUS/28/6 ‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply. Rose Hips’ (1941-1946)

Contains notes and correspondence with the Vegetable Drugs Committee concerning the use of wild and garden rose hips as a source of vitamin C; also contains notes and correspondence on the national collection of rose hip.



1/MUS/28/7 ‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply. Marketing’ (1942-1944).

Contains mainly confidential notices from the Vegetable Drugs Committee of the Ministry of Supply concerning the supply of copies of the Herb Collector’s Bulletin as well as notes on plants to be collected, details of firms prepared to accept consignments of plants, prices paid for plants collected and minutes of a meeting dated Feb 1944 of Trade Representatives concerning the amount of plants collected in 1943.



1/MUS/28/M ‘Museums. Vegetable Drugs Committee. Ministry of Supply. Miscellaneous’ (1941-1944)

Contains correspondence on medicinal herbs, in particular on the use of Mrs L Ullmann, a German refugee, in experimental cultivation using Bavarian methods; other correspondence relates to the cultivation of medicinal herbs in general, on sourcing dandelion roots; includes a list of native culinary herbs and spices.



2/IND/46 India. Red Bark 1899

Contains correspondence with the India Government Forest Department, the India Office and the Leather Industries Laboratory at Yorkshire College, regarding samples of tanning material from Burma



3/HOLL/3 ‘Holland: Rijks Universiteit Pharmaceutisch Laboratorium, Utrecht’ (1931-1953).

File containing correspondence with the Pharmacy Laboratory of Rijks University in Utrech, Holland, especially requests of seeds of Digitalis sibirica and Ephedra species from Kew.



4/P/9 British Pharmacopoeia Commission. General Medical Council, London W.I (1930 - 1951).

Contains correspondence to and from the Pharmacopeia Commission, General Medical Council, relating to pharmaceutical properties, uses and experiments of certain plants such as Ephedrinae as well as botanical sources.



5/C/5 Cinchona.[Africa] 1917-1932

This file contains correspondence, reports and other paper relating to the cultivation of Cinchona in East Africa and the West Indies. Includes a Kew memorandum on the history of Cinchona cultivation in the world since 1854, letters on the growing of Cinchona ledgeriana and Cinchona succiruora in East Africa, correspondence relating to the growing of Chincona as a subsidiary crop to tea and coffee in Tanganyika (Tanzania), especially at Amani Agricultural Station; also includes a memorandum on quinine cultivation (varieties of cultivation, yields of bark and the commercial aspects and positions of plantations and factories). Some correspondence relates to the growing of Cinchona in Angola, Swaziland, Sudan, Cameroon, Nyasaland and Uganda.



5/C/5/1 Cinchona. Manuscripts connected with Holland's article on ledger bark and red bark (1931)

contains correspondence and notes relating to chincona alkaloids and the planting of Succirubra and Clisava trees in India and the use of their bark by quinine makers; a report entitled ‘Introduction of “Ledger bark” into India’ discussing the history of the introduction and development into India of the above species; although this report is unsigned, it is probably a copy of Holland’s article; the file also includes a report by Dr De Vry (or De Vrij) on researches on Cinchona in Java as well as correspondence between Arthur Hill and David Prain on the subject.



5/E/12 ‘Miscellaneous enquiries regarding drug-yielding plants and medicinal plants’ (1937-1953).

Contains correspondence to and from Kew from individuals and organisations seeking information on drug-yielding plants and medicinal plants; contains an indexed list of plants referred in the correspondence at the front of the file.



5/L/1 Leprosy Plants, General (1928 - 1946)

Contains correspondence and notes relating to plants use for the treatment of leprosy. In particular, the plants mentioned are Chaulmooga trees from Dominica - Hydnocarpus Wightiana and Taraktogenos kurzil amongst others - and the oil produced from these. There is also some correspondence relating to the sourcing of these trees in other countries.









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