The Snuff Tobacco Reference


An errhine originally described a medicine in the form of a powder that was snuffed as to induce the discharge of mucus with the aim to benefit disorders of the head thereby. In the given sense distinct from a sternutatory, the terms would converge as explained by Dunglison writing in 1857: At one time errhines were separated from sternutatories—the former comprising agents that excite an increased discharge from the Schneiderian membrane; the latter those that provoke sneezing; but the class of errhines is now made to include both. Tobacco in the form of snuff historically found much use in the role of an errhine. See also and compare Sternutatory.


  1. General Therapeutics and Materia Medica. Robley Dunglison. Volume 1; Section 3; Subsection 1; Pages 279–284. 1857.
  2. Dr. Radcliffe’s Practical Dispensatory. Edward Strother. Fifth Edition; Pages 154–156. 1730. Digitised version