Back to the natural - apothecary houses settle (again) in Paris

Apothecary is a very old profession that can be traced back to two millenaries before Jesus Christ. Apothecaries make and sell beverages and medicinal remedies reserved to sick persons. By definition, it is the ancestor of the chemist.

Apothecary store in Paris

A little bit of History

By using methods of bygone days, apothecaries used to concoct remedies made with natural and rare materials – cinnamon, vinegar, turmeric, oat, salt, oil of hemp, honey and even clay.  Thanks to its diverse, varied methods and routes of administration - in the forms of herbal teas, balms, ointments, decoctions and even pills - medicine of the time has not to be compared unfavourably to the medicine of nowadays. This science would spread in the streets, through the settlement of apothecary houses and groceries. However, in the 1700s, the preparations of medicinal remedies were made exclusive to the chemists, due to a decree written by King Louis XVI.

Oil and balms from an apothecary house

The apothecary of nowadays

Nowadays, the trend comes back to natural remedies and well-being. This “healthy” trend is being popularized with the emergence of gluten free diets and vegan food, yoga and Pilates classes, a zero-waste way of life, detox juices and many others. Consequently, it is not surprising to see apothecary houses and herbalist’s shops reinstall little by little in the big cities of France. Proud of their natural products – and most of the time inoffensive for the body – some cosmetic brands as Weleda, Aroma Zone, Melvita and even some pharmaceutical laboratories use the natural as their trademark. If there was a time when plants were reserved to the most impoverished, today they became a real symbol of French luxury.

An apothecary hosue in Paris

Thus, it could be seen as a part of the French History that rises again in our streets. Certain unmissable addresses in Paris will plunge you in a parallel universe, frozen in the past. You will discover this science that may look complex - a mix of alchemy and witchcraft - and that in fact is very simple.
These unusual and out of the ordinary shops are a must to be discovered or visited again in Paris. Then, do not hesitate to learn more about it, and, maybe, promote these uncommon shops of your country by creating an activity on the website of MYLOPY!
MYLOPY thanks the Officine Universelle Buly 1803 for its warm welcome.

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