Louis Hébert

Canadian stamp hebert

Date of issue: August 30, 1985
Printer: Ashton-Potter
Design: Clermont Malenfant

Louis Hébert

Louis Hébert was born in 1575 in Paris, France. He trained in medicine and science, with a special emphasis in medicinal plants, and established a successful business as an apothecary. He travelled to Canada several times, the first in 1606 to Port Royal, Nova Scotia, where he developed a knowledge of the medicinal properties of the local flora through relationships with the Mi’kmaq, the original inhabitants of the Atlantic region in Canada. He returned to the “new world” in 1617, where he was hired by the Companie de Canada to farm and provide medical services to the inhabitants of Quebec City. He died in 1627 after an accidental fall on the ice.

The Stamp

The stamp was printed to mark the 45th International Congress of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Montreal in 1985. It shows Hébert holding a sprig of balsam fir in his left hand (its resin used for skin burns, wounds, etc). Below is the silverweed (used as a diuretic) and a mortar and pestle, symbolizing the apothecary craft. The scythe and wheat to his right represent his activity as a farmer.

The first-day cover includes images of the strawberry (top and bottom left), which was used for treating diseases such as gout and “consumption” (tuberculosis). Its postmark shows a representation of the bowl of Hygieia, a pharmaceutical symbol since 1800, consisting of a cup with a snake coiled around its stem.

Image on First day cover Hebert

First-day cover envelope Hebert

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