In the early 1900s the United States pharmaceutical industry was wildly different than that of today. The 1930s signified a turning point in the industry, as chemists began to synthesize drugs, like aspirin, more routinely. Before the pharmaceutical industry came into total domination of our medicine cabinets, the Americans still relied upon wild herbal plants for their medicinal healing qualities.
From the map call-out:
The Service of Pharmacy
It is important that the public does not lose sight of the fact that the profession of Pharmacy, Medicine, and Dentistry, each give an essential service, which must not be impaired or destroyed by commercial trends. The public and the professions will suffer equally if these services are allowed to deteriorate.
In pharmacy the public should understand something of the breadth of knowledge required of the pharmacist. Few people realize the extent to which plants and minerals enter into the practice of pharmacy, and how vital they are to the maintenance of public health. It has been stated that upwards of 70 percent of all medicines employed are the products of plants. The more important vegetable drugs are obtained from about two hundred different plants which grow natively in different parts of the world. Comparatively few are extensively cultivated.
The plants shown on the face of this map grow natively or are cultivated in the State where illustrated. In most cases the native plants are also found in abundance in other States of similar climate and geographic conditions. The names, as given, are in accordance with the United States Pharmacopocia X or the National Formulary, fifth edition.
Intense scientific study, expert knowledge, extreme care and accuracy are applied by the pharmacists to medicinal plants and drugs from the point of origin through the intricate chemical, botanical, and pharmaceutical processes employed in preparing medicine.
It is hoped that this map may serve to broaden the general knowledge of the public along these lines and to develop a better understanding of the vital part the pharmacist plays in combining his services with those of the physician in utilizing the products of nature in the practice of pharmacy.
This map (courtesy of slate.com), printed by the National Wholesale Druggists’ Association in 1932 for use by pharmacists during a promotional campaign called ‘Pharmacy Week,’ was intended to boost the image of the profession. Ironic huh?