What was supposedly in these jars? Please translate the labels?
November 17, 2013 5:13 PM   Subscribe

I bought eighteen apothecary jars at a recent auction. They were from the set of Total Recall, and some of them still have labels on them. I'm not sure what language it's in, and I'm curious about whether the "herbs" in them had the names of anything real, or if someone just made stuff up for the movies. Have a look at these three, for instance, and please let me know if you can translate? (The middle label may now be upside down at this point.) Thanks, in hopes of satisfying my curiosity.
posted by peagood to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The labels are in Chinese.

Left jar: 茯苓 is Wolfiporia cocos
Middle jar: 肉蓯蓉 is Cistanche deserticola
Right jar: 延胡索 is Corydalis yanhusuo

All of these plants are used in traditional Chinese medicine, according to the resources I checked.

Nothing is upside down in your photo. I am impressed the studio used actual herb names rather than gibberish.
posted by Tanizaki at 5:56 PM on November 17, 2013 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you so much, Tanizaki! Now I will go look up the herbs to see what they were used for. Some of the jars still have "herbs" in them, but they've mostly crumbled to dust. Some day maybe I'll watch the movie again to see if I can spot the jars. I have no recall of it (ar ar - humor) after all these years. I am using the jars for cat food, cereal, yarn, Halloween candy, Hamster litter and other things now, and since the labels are only held on with wheat paste, I can't keep them on if I want to give them a really good washing.
posted by peagood at 6:27 PM on November 17, 2013

These are from the remake?
posted by Ideefixe at 7:17 PM on November 17, 2013

Response by poster: OH - thanks Ideefixe. Had no idea there was a remake. Yes, I'm guessing the remake. I had no idea there even was one. That makes sense now.
posted by peagood at 3:56 AM on November 18, 2013

I sure don't remember anything like that in the original Total Recall..
posted by k5.user at 7:23 AM on November 18, 2013

I suspected that these would be from the remake. The Colony had a Chinatown look.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:29 AM on November 18, 2013

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