On label: "UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO // PHARMACEUTICAL LABORATORY // Castoreum // (Beaver Castors)
Storage Room 0010
0010-A5-3 Box 1
Unit Of Measure
Collected from beaver gland (near their genitals), used to treat anxiety, painful menstruation/starts menstruation, as a calming agent (contains salicylic acid, which is part of aspirin). Now used as scent in perfumes and flavouring agent in food (such as vanilla ice cream).
Information sheet accompanying accession sheet; "The American Medical Illustrated Dictionary," 20th ed., W.A. N. Dorland, 1944, p. 286.
Was used in an exhibit for the International Congress of the History of Medicine in Montreal; used by the North American Indians; note: crude drugs were used in Canada quite extensively until around the 1920s; beaver castors are the preputial follicles of the beaver; they secrete a strong-smelling, brownish substance (castoreum) that is a stimulant and antispasmodic; uses: Mohegan tribe placed bandaged piece of castor over wounds and cuts overnight; Penobscots tribe used it for "female troubles"; used as an additive to other medicines; used for relief of congestion in measles (a half-dried castor placed in nostril on end of needle); official preparation: castoreum, U.S.P. 1820-1882 .