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Mandrake (Austria)

The Stamp

This stamp was issued in Austria in 1986. It commemorates the occasion of the 7th European Anaesthetic Congress held, that year, in Vienna.

The Subject

Mandrake was a herb used from ancient times as an analgesic and anaesthetic. It was an ingredient in the soporific sponge with opium and other herbs. The sponge was wetted and placed over the patient’s face to give some anaesthesia prior to surgery.

The Urology Connection

One would like to think at least some attempt was made at alleviating the pain of lithotomy in the ancient and mediaeval world.


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