Leaf taken from past

Dunedin Apothecary Herbal Dispensary owner Tracey Loughran and her father, Norman Edwards, inspect antique pharmacy books in the cen­tral Dunedin shop on Monday. Photo: Shawn McAvinue
Dunedin Apothecary Herbal Dispensary owner Tracey Loughran and her father, Norman Edwards, inspect antique pharmacy books in the cen­tral Dunedin shop on Monday. Photo: Shawn McAvinue
A Dunedin naturopath has taken ‘‘a step back in time’’ by following in her father’s footsteps.

Dunedin Apothecary Herbal Dispensary owner Tracey Loughran, of Dunedin, said she launched her new apothecary — ‘‘an old-fashioned pharmacy using plant medicine’’ — in High St about a month ago.

After the opening, her retired father Norman Edwards dusted off some boxes in a shed at his home in Palmerston.

Inside were old items he ‘‘inherited’’ when he bought Palmerston Pharmacy in 1994, including a ‘‘precious’’ pocket formulary book published in 1867, she said.

‘‘A lot of what is in these books is recipes for what I’m making now . . . we are taking a step back in time,’’ Ms Loughran said.

Her father agreed.

‘‘She is doing what I did in the early 1960s . . .it’s back to the future.’’

The products his daughter sold today were considered conventional medicine then, but the industry had been through changes, he said.

Pharmacists used to have a more interesting job with more scope to ‘‘use their art’’ and manufacture a medicine, rather than dispensing what a doctor told them to.
‘‘The personality has gone out of it a lot.’’

Ms Loughran said starting a new business based on ‘‘old pharmacy’’ was cool.

Business had been great in the first month, and she had employed four part-time naturopaths and herbalists. The business was also about to launch a nationwide dispensing service for naturopaths and herbalists to use.

A more than 100-year-old pill rolling machine was among items Mr Edwards had given his daughter to display in a glass cabinet in her shop.

‘‘It will be a mini pharmacy museum.’’

SHAWN.MCAVINUE@thestar.co.nz 

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