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Type > Tools & Equipment > Quassia cup

Accession # SRM1988-62.4

Quassia cup

19th century


Quassia trees are remarkable for their ability to repel insects due to a resin that acts as an insecticide and because the wood of the tree has medicinal properties still valued today. Cups made of the wood are native to the West Indies and are known to have existed in 19th century America. Water in the cup would leach out the medicinal properties of the wood and the water was drunk as a bitter tonic or remedy for roundworms in children. It was frequently used as an insecticide or for hops in brewing. The directions for usage are still seen on the paper label: "TC dyspepsis, indigestion, headache, fever and ague."




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