Definitions

Pastille

Pastille

[pa-steel, -stil]
A pastille was originally a pill shaped lump of compressed herbs, which was burnt to release its medicinal properties. Pastilles were in widest use during the eighteenth century, and have never really made a comeback. Today, "pastille" can also refer to a medicinal pill or flavored candy, or to any kind of incense. References to the burning of medicinal pastilles include the short story "Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the poem "The Laboratory" by Robert Browning, and the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. They are also mentioned in the novel McTeague by Frank Norris, when the title character's wife burns them to mask an unpleasant odor in the couple's rooms.

A pastille is also known as a "troche", or medicated lozenge, that can be dissolved like a candy.

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