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pharmacological terra sigillata?

updated tue 4 nov 08


Kathy Forer on mon 3 nov 08

I came across the following science blog called terra sigillata and
thought it of interest.

Why Terra Sigillata?

Posted on: September 15, 2007 9:15 AM, by Abel Pharmboy

If you Google, "Terra Sigillata," you'll get a number of hits for
various clay pottery recipes. Very complicated stuff, requiring the
use of a deflocculant to separate out large clay particles from the
small ones. Terra sig, as it is known among pottery hipsters, is then
used to coat finished pieces to produce a very smooth, high luster and
waterproof finish.

What does this have to do with pharmacology and natural products?

Terra Sigillata literally means "sealed earth." In the common potter's
vernacular, "seal" probably relates to the waterproof character of the
product. But, in ancient pharmacy history, Terra Sigillata refers to
the first trademarked drug product, a small clay tablet or planchet
bearing an official mark of authenticity. In this case, the "seal" was
a mark for trade and marketing purposes.

Yes, pre-Christian cultures ingested dirt (but only special dirt) as
medicine. (Admonishment from my soil scientist colleagues: I meant to
say, "soil" - sorry.). Terra Sigillata was a rather fatty clay first
harvested around 500 B.C. from a particular hill on the Mediterranean
island of Lemnos, now part of Greece. Dug on a special day annually in
the presence of governmental and religious dignitaries, the clay was
rolled to a defined thickness and pressed with an official seal by
priestesses and dried in the sun. Kind of reminds me of my favorite
beer, Samichlaus, brewed once a year on 6 Dec.
continued at

Kathy Forer

Lee Love on mon 3 nov 08

Oringal kaopectate is just kaolin and pectin. I have the recipe
here somewhere. The new kaopectate is harmful to cats. So I bought
canning pectin to make my own. I microwave helmers.
Lee Love in Minneapolis

"Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." --Rumi