Российская империя в системе мировой торговли лекарственными растениями конца XVIII – начала XIX в. и проблема соотношения «ученой» и «народной» фармации
The article examines Russian imports of medicinal plants in the late eighteenth – early nineteenth centuries and the attempts to reduce the amount of imported medicaments by their replacement with home-grown plants that took place in the context of a general crisis of European trade during the Napoleonic wars. The paper makes an attempt to evaluate an approximate volume of imported medicaments; it analyses the origins of plants and compares the trade of exotic medicinal plants in Russia with the known data about their circulation in various European countries. The article demonstrates the dependency of Russian state-managed apothecaries and hospitals not only on the imports of exotic plant species but also on those ones that were native to the Russian empire. It examines the known data related to apothecary gardens and the harvesting of medicinal plants in wild nature in Russia. By doing so, it highlights the lack of infrastructure for providing state-run apothecaries and hospitals with a stable supply of native plant species – the factor that accounted for the futility of attempts to reduce the dependency on imported medicaments. At the same time, the paper stresses the continuing presence of local spice shops, which had been trading in officinal plants long before the transfer of European pharmaceutical institutions and practices to the Russian empire. These shops, apparently, were not restricted to trading only in indigenous plant species but could sell also the exotic ones. This fact undermines a simple binary model of European and ‘indigenous’ or ‘folk’ pharmaceutical traditions co-existing in Russia in the late eighteenth – early nineteenth centuries, arguing instead for their entangled histories.