This specimen is one of approximately 187 specimens of materia medica (crude drug material) representing plants introduced and employed by physicians of the Eclectic School of American practitioners. In the early 1920s, the Smithsonian developed three small exhibits on the so-called "alternative" schools of medicine: homeopathy, osteopathy, and eclectic medicine. In 1924, John Uri Lloyd (1849-1936) procured these specimens for the museum's eclectic medicine exhibit.
The Eclectic School, which emerged in the United States in the 1830s, arose from earlier botanical medicine movements and Native American herbal traditions. Practitioners primarily used plant-based drugs that were indigenous to the United States and developed a distinct "American materia medica." Lloyd Brothers, established in 1886 by brothers John Uri Lloyd, Curtis Gates Lloyd (1859-1926), and Nelson Ashley Lloyd (1851-1925), was a major supplier of quality botanical drugs for the eclectic physician.
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