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More Herbal Research..and Questions

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  • aardvark
    Partly spurred by public questions ( ...and did it work? ), partly my own curiosity, I ve been researching herbal remedies lately. I am a dyed in the wool
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 29, 2007
      Partly spurred by public questions ("...and did it work?"), partly
      my own curiosity, I've been researching herbal remedies lately. I am
      a dyed in the wool skeptic and want good ol' double blind studies,
      thank you.

      Came across this one tonight and was interested by the "science
      ratings" they offer. They also give an idea of how much to use
      (dunno how well that compares with 18th c. dosages/methods).

      http://www.truestarhealth.com/Notes/2420007.html

      ANY idea what percentage of 18th c. American/British medicine
      was "drugs" as we know them and what was herbal medicines? Hard
      question to nail down. I realize there is some overlap, esp. with
      drugs of botanical origin.

      Would one's station in life affect which type of remedy was used?
      Were distinctions made as to herbs for the poor (affording a doctor
      a factor too), "medicines" for better off folks? Did one category
      cost more than the other or did it depend on the exact substance? I
      guess if you grow it or collect it, it's cheap.

      Would a person go and buy a "medicine" without a doctor's advice? --
      based on past experience/"common knowledge"/friend's advice? Rx not
      needed then, right? Did one try herbs first, then resort to doctor
      only if illness seemed severe (depending on affording one too)?

      Where did the doctor get the herbals? or did he leave it up to the
      patient to provide the most common ones?

      I also wondered (are you tired of this yet?) how much of the kitchen
      garden went to herbs for cooking and how much for medicinal use. I
      know most things were/could be used for both but I wonder how much
      herbs went into lower class cooking? [note to self--ask Savory Fare
      list]. I mostly hear about salt, mace, nutmeg, pepper...and one or
      two more for common use in cooking.

      Chris E
    • the hemyngton
      I can tell you that in Medieval times to the Renaissance the kitchen was medicinal. All things effected the balance of the humours. From the weather, Time of
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 29, 2007
        I can tell you that in Medieval times to the Renaissance the kitchen was medicinal.  All things effected the balance of the humours.  From the weather, Time of year or day, the items that you used, down to the food you ate, all should be and was used to keep body in perfect balance.  I have found that from the Renaissance to the 18th century that a slow change begins taking  food as medicinal or balancing to it being a solely pleasurable event.  I am unsure that there was too much of a difference until you have separate gardens.  Just two examples of food that was medicinal then slowly changes to pleasurable:  Look at the attributes of tobacco as it was recommended as an expectorant then eventually became a pleasurable pastime even while doctors believed in its powers for the lung.  Coffee was good for expelling the of fumes of the head, cleaned the stomach and ridded one of giddiness, but at the same time there were many coffee houses were social drinking of it was commonplace. 

        This doesn't exact answer your questions but it is one aspect of how the idea of medicinal herbs and the garden changed.  I look forward to others insights and comments.  Thanks for starting a stream of thought!

        ----- Original Message ----
        From: aardvark <aardvark19562002@...>
        To: Physick18C@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:27:38 AM
        Subject: [Physick18C] More Herbal Research..and Questions

        Partly spurred by public questions ("...and did it work?"), partly
        my own curiosity, I've been researching herbal remedies lately. I am
        a dyed in the wool skeptic and want good ol' double blind studies,
        thank you.

        Came across this one tonight and was interested by the "science
        ratings" they offer. They also give an idea of how much to use
        (dunno how well that compares with 18th c. dosages/methods) .

        http://www.truestar health.com/ Notes/2420007. html

        ANY idea what percentage of 18th c. American/British medicine
        was "drugs" as we know them and what was herbal medicines? Hard
        question to nail down. I realize there is some overlap, esp. with
        drugs of botanical origin.

        Would one's station in life affect which type of remedy was used?
        Were distinctions made as to herbs for the poor (affording a doctor
        a factor too), "medicines" for better off folks? Did one category
        cost more than the other or did it depend on the exact substance? I
        guess if you grow it or collect it, it's cheap.

        Would a person go and buy a "medicine" without a doctor's advice? --
        based on past experience/" common knowledge"/friend' s advice? Rx not
        needed then, right? Did one try herbs first, then resort to doctor
        only if illness seemed severe (depending on affording one too)?

        Where did the doctor get the herbals? or did he leave it up to the
        patient to provide the most common ones?

        I also wondered (are you tired of this yet?) how much of the kitchen
        garden went to herbs for cooking and how much for medicinal use. I
        know most things were/could be used for both but I wonder how much
        herbs went into lower class cooking? [note to self--ask Savory Fare
        list]. I mostly hear about salt, mace, nutmeg, pepper...and one or
        two more for common use in cooking.

        Chris E


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