Walt Whitman’s Health Tips

April 30th, 2016

It has recently come to light that the US poet Walt Whitman also published a series of tips for health in 1858. Written under a pseudonym, the tips for “Manly Health and Training” contain much that would be familiar to those seeking health advice today – though few of the “patent” remedies that might otherwise have been suggested in that era; Whitman’s emphasis was on exercise and a very plain diet.

Rosemary for remembrance

July 15th, 2015

The BBC report that the smell of rosemary has been shown to improve “future memory” — that is, remembering to do things in the future — and that the smell of lavender impairs this type of memory.

Other remedies reputed to improve memory:

News: 1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA

March 30th, 2015

The BBC report that a medieval eye remedy has been found to almost completely eradicate MRSA – equal parts of onion and another allium (garlic or leek), chopped and crushed in a mortar, then mixed with a small amount of English wine and some bovine salts.

News: Exotic hangover recipes

March 7th, 2015

On Boxing Day 2014, the Guardian published a round-up of hangover remedies from around the globe.

News: Indonesia’s ancient tonic seeks modern remedy

March 4th, 2015

A BBC article about jamu, an Indonesian tonic made primarily of roots (e.g. turmeric, ginger and galangal).

News: Bolivia embraces traditional healers

September 26th, 2008

“EL ALTO, Bolivia — When Sabino Quento was involved in a serious car accident, the hospital was the last place he thought to seek treatment for his broken bones and nerve damage.

“Instead, he went to Emiliano Cusi, a traditional healer and Bolivia’s new vice minister of traditional medicine. Cusi was appointed by President Evo Morales as part of a plan to expand public health to include indigenous healing.”

Full story: Miami Herald, 26th September 2008

News: Lavender ‘calms dental patients’

September 12th, 2008

“It soothes headaches and aids sleep – now lavender has been shown to help cope with a trip to the dentist.

“A study of 340 people by King’s College London researchers found those exposed to lavender oil scent were less anxious about the treatment ahead.”

Full story: BBC News, 12th September 2008

News: Natural Breath Fresheners

September 6th, 2008

“Fresh mints, cloves and anise from the garden cure bad oral odors.

When our ancestors found themselves with offensive breath, they couldn’t (of course) pop candied deodorizers into their mouths. In fact, back in those days, folks used a number of natural breath fresheners that could be found in kitchens and herb gardens… and many of them are just as available today!”

Full article: Mother Earth News, originally from March/April 1983 issue

News: Book ‘reveals’ secret of long life

May 4th, 2008

“For years Elizabeth Harfleet wondered how her great aunt Lillie had managed to live to the grand old age of 103.

“She believes she has found the answer in a battered book unearthed in a relative’s attic.

“Covered in faded brown paper, How to Live 100 Years is a compact manual of herbal remedies and treatments that was compiled by one James Robinson, of Bradford, and sold early in the last century for a shilling.”

Full story: Daily Telegraph, 30th April 2008

News: ‘Spring Tonic’ Explores Remedies Of The Past

March 28th, 2008

“Learn about historical medicines and cures, including why some 18th century folks tied cowpies around their necks for sore throats, at the Schiele Museum “Spring Tonic” program from 1-5 p.m. Sunday at the museum’s 18th-Century Backcountry Farm.”

Full story: Gaston Gazette, 26th March 2008 (Gastonia, North Carolina, USA)