Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum
The Regimen of Health from the School of Salerno
Part 2. DIET
The Regimen of Health from the School of Salerno
Part 2. DIET
Neue Artznei und Practicierbuchlin, Bock, 1551
TO keep good diet, you should never feed
Until you find your stomach clean and void
Of former eaten meat, for they do breed
Repletion, and will cause you soon be cloid,
None other rule but appetite should need,
When from your mouth a moisture clear doth void.
All Pears and Apples, Peaches, Milk and Cheese,
Salt meats, red Deer, Hare, Beef and Goat: all these
Are meats that breed ill blood, and Melancholy,
If sick you be, to feed on them were folly.
EGGS newly laid, are nutritive to eat,
And roasted Raw are easy to digest.
Fresh Gascoigne wine is good to drink with meat,
Broth strengthens nature above all the rest.
But broth prepared with flour of finest wheat,
Well boiled, and full of fat for such are best.
The Priests rule is (a Priests rule should be true)
Those Eggs are best, are long, and white and new
Remember eating new laid Eggs and soft,
For every Egg you eat you drink as oft.
FINE Manchet feeds too fat, Milk fills the veins,
New cheese doth nourish, so doth flesh of Swine:
The Dowcets of some beasts, the marrow, Brains
And all sweet tasting flesh, and pleasant wine,
Soft Eggs (a cleanly dish in house of Swines)
Ripe Figs and Raisins, late come from the Vine:
Choose wine you mean shall serve you all the year,
Well-savored tasting well, and colored clear.
Five qualities there are, wines praise advancing,
Strong, Beautiful, and Fragrant, cool and dancing.
WHITE Muskadel and Candie wine, and Greek,
Do make men’s wits and bodies gross and fat;
Red wine doth make the voice oft-time to seek,
And hath a binding quality to that;
Canary, and Madiera, both are like
To make one lean indeed: (but wot you what)
Who say they make one lean, would make one laugh
They mean, they make one lean upon a staff.
Wine, women, Baths, by Art or Nature warm,
Used or abused do men much good or harm.
SIX things, that here-in order shall ensue,
Against all poisons have a secret power,
Pear, Garlic, Radish-roots, Nuts, Rape, and Rue
But Garlic chief; for they that it devour,
May drink, & care not who their drink do brew
May walk in air infected every hour.
Sith Garlic then hath powers to save from death,
Bear with it though it make unsavory breath:
And scorn not Garlic, like to some that think
It only makes men wink, and drink, and stink.
THOUGH all ill savors do not breed infection
Yet sure infections comes most by smelling
Who smells still perfumed, his complexion
Is not perfumed by Poet Martials telling,
Yet for your lodging rooms give this direction,
In houses where you mind to make your dwelling,
That near the same there be no evil scents
Of puddle-waters, or of excrements,
Let air be clear and light, and free from faults,
That come of secret passages and vaults.
IF wine have over night a surfeit brought,
A thing we wish to you should happen seld:
Then early in the morning drink a draught,
And that a kind of remedy shall yield,
But against all surfeits, virtues school has taught
To make the gift of temperance a shield:
The better wines do breed the better humors,
The worse, are causes of unwholesome tumors.
In measure drink, let wine be ripe, not thick,
But clear and well laid, and fresh and quick.
THE like advice we give you for your Beer
We will it be not sour and yet be stale:
Well boiled, of hearty grain and old and clear,
Nor drink too much nor let it be too stale:
And as there be four seasons in the year,
In each a several order keep you shall.
In Spring your dinner must not much exceed,
In Summers heat but little meat shall need:
In Autumn ware you eat not too much fruit:
With Winters cold full meats do fittest suit.
IF in your drink you mingle Rue with Sage,
All poison is expelled by power of those,
And if you would with-all Lusts heat assuage,
Add to them two the gentle flower of Rose:
Would not be sea-sick when seas do rage,
Sage-water drink with wine before he goes.
Salt, Garlic, Parsley, Pepper, Sage, and Wine,
Make sauces for all meats both course and fine.
Of washing of your hands much good does rise,
Tis wholesome, cleanly, and relieves your eyes.
EAT not your bread too stale, nor eat it hot
A little Leaven, hollow baked and light:
Not fresh of purest grain that can be got,
The crust breeds choler both of brown and White
Yet let it be well baked or eat it not,
How ever your taste therein may take delight.
Pork without wine is not so good to eat,
As Sheep with wine, it medicine is and meat,
Tho entrails of a beast be not the best,
Yet are some entrails better than the rest.
SOME love to drink new wine not fully (re-)fined,
But for your health we wish that you drink none,
For such to dangerous fluxes are inclined,
Besides, the Lees of wine doe breed the stone,
Some to drink only water are assigned,
But such by our consent shall drink alone.
For water and small beer we make no question,
Are enemies to health and good digestion:
And Horace in a verse of his rehearses,
That Water-drinkers never make good verses.
THE choice of meat to health doth much avail
First Veal is wholesome meat, & breeds good Blood
So Capon, Hen, and Chicken, Partridge, Quail,
The Pheasant, Woodcock, Lark, & Thrush be good,
The Heath-cock wholesome is, the dove, the rail
And all that do not much delight in mud.
Fair swans such love your beauties make me bear you,
That in the dish I easily could forbear you.
Good sport it is to see a Mallard killed,
But with their flesh, your flesh should not be filled.
AS choice you make of Fowl, so make of Fish,
If so that kind be soft, the great be best,
If firm, then small, and many in a dish:
I need not name, all kinds are in request.
Pike, Trout, and Perch, from water fresh I wish,
From Sea, Bass, Mullet, Bream, and Souls are best:
The Pike a ravening tyrant is in water,
Yet he on land yields good fish never the later,
If Eels and Cheese you eat, they make you hoarse,
But drink apace thereto, and then no force.
SOME love at meals to drink small draughts and oft,
But fancy may herein and custom guide,
If Eggs you eat, they must be new and soft.
In Peas good qualities and bad are tried,
To take them with the skin that grows aloft,
They windy be, but good without their hide.
In great consumptions learned Physicians think,
'Tis good a Goat or Camels milk to drink,
Cows-milk and Sheeps do well, but yet an Asses
Is best of all, and all the other passes.
MILK is for Agues and for Head-ache naught,
Yet if from Agues fit you feel you free,
Sweet-butter wholesome is, as some have taught,
To cleanse and purge some pains that inward be,
Whey, though it be contemned, yet it is thought
To scour and cleanse, and purge in due degree:
For healthy men may Cheese be wholesome food,
But for the weak and sickly 'tis not good,
Cheese is an heavy meat, both gross and cold
And breeds Costiveness both new and old.
CHEESE makes complaint that men on wrong suspicions
Do slander it, and say it doth such harm,
That they conceal his many good conditions,
How oft it helps a stomach cold to warm,
How fasting ’tis prescribed by some Physicians,
To those to whom the flux doth give alarm:
We see the better sort thereof doth eat,
To make as 'twere a period of their meat;
The poorer sort, when other meat is scant,
For hunger eat it to relieve their want.
ALTHOUGH you may drink often while you dine,
Yet after dinner touch not once the cup,
I know that some Physicians do assign
To take some liquor straight before they sup:
But whether this be meant by broth or wine,
A controversy 'tis not yet tane up:
To close your stomach well, this order suits,
Cheese after flesh, Nuts after fish or fruits,
Yet some have said, (believe them as you will)
One Nut doth good, two hurt, the third does kill.
SOME Nut against poison is preservative:
Pears wanting wine, are poison from the tree,
But baked Pears counted are restorative,
Raw Pears a poison, bak't a medicine be
Bak't Pears a weak dead stomach do revive,
Raw Pears are heavy to digest we see,
Drink after Pears, take after Apples order
To have a place to purge your self of ordure.
Ripe Cherries breed good blood, and help the stone,
If Cherry you do eat and Cherry-stone
COOL Damsens are, and good for health, by reason
They make your entrails soluble and slack,
Let Peaches steep in wine of newest season,
Nuts hurt the teeth, that with their teeth they crack
With every Nut 'tis good to eat a Raisin.
For though they hurt the spleen, they help the back,
A plaster made of Figs, by some mens
Is good against all kernels, boils and swelling,
With Poppy joined, it draws out bones
By Figs are live engendered, Lust provoken.
EAT Medlars, if you have a looseness gotten
They bind, and yet your urine they augment,
They have one name more fit to be forgotten,
While hard and sound they be, they be not spent,
Good Medlers are not ripe, till seeming rotten,
For medling much with Medlers some are shent.
New Rhenish-wine stirs urine, doth not bind:
But rather loose the Belly breeding wind,
Ale humors breeds, it adds both flesh and force,
Tis loosing, cool, and urine does enforce.
SHARP Vinegar does cool, withall it dries,
And gives to some ill humor good correction:
It makes one melancholy, hurts their eyes,
Not making fat, nor mending their complexion:
It lessens sperm, makes appetite to rise,
Both taste and scent is good against infection.
The Turnip hurts the stomach, wind it breeds,
Stirs urine, hurts his teeth thereon that feeds,
Who much thereof will feed, may wish our Nation,
Would well allow of Claudius proclamation.
IT follows now what part of every beast;
Is good to eat: first know the Heart is ill,
It is both hard and heavy to digest.
The Tripe with no good juice our flesh doth fill:
The Lites are light, yet but in small request:
But outer parts are best in Physicks skill
If any brains be good, (which is a question)
Hens brain is best and lightest of digestion:
In Fennel-feed, this virtue you shall find,
Foorth of your lower parts to drive the wind.
OF Fennel virtues four they do recite,
First, it hath power some poisons to expel,
Next, burning Agues it will put to flight,
The stomach it does cleanse, and comfort well:
And fourthly, it doth keep and cleanse the sight,
And thus the seed and herb does both excel.
Yet for the two last told, if any seed
With Fennel may compare, 'tis Annis-seed:
Some Annis-seed be sweet, and some more bitter,
For pleasure these, for medicine those are fitter.
DAME Natures reason, far surmounts our reading
We feel effects the causes oft unknown,
Who knows the cause why Spodium stanches bleeding?
(Spodium but ashes of an Oxes bone)
We learn herein to praise his power exceeding,
That virtue gave to wood, to herbs, to stone;
The Liver, Spodium; Mace, the heart delights,
The brain likes Musk, and Licorice the Lites.
The Spleen is thought much comforted with Capers,
In stomach, Galangal always ill vapors.
SAUCE would be set with meat upon the table,
Salt is good sauce, and had with great facility:
Salt makes unsavory vyands manducable,
To drive some poisons out, Salt hath ability,
Yet things too salt are never commendable:
They hurt the sight, in nature cause debility,
The scab and itch on them are ever breeding,
The which on meats too salt are often feeding.
Salt should be first removed, and first set down
At table of the Knight, and of the Clown.
AS tastes are diverse, so Physicians hold
They have as sundry qualities and power
Some burning are, some temperate, some cold,
Cold are these three, the Tart, the Sharpe, the sour,
Salt, bitter, biting, burn as hath been told,
Sweet, fat and fresh, are temperate every
Four special virtues hath a sop in wine,
It makes the teeth white, it clears the eyne,
It adds unto an empty stomach fullness,
And from a stomach fill’d, it takes the dullness.
IF to an use you have your self betaken,
Of any diet, make no sudden change,
A custom is not easily forsaken,
Yea though it better were, yet seems it strange,
Long use is as a second nature taken,
With nature custom walks in equal range.
Good diet is a perfect way of curing:
And worthy much regard and health assuring.
A King that cannot rule him in his diet,
Will hardly rule his Realm in peace and quiet.
THEY that in Physic will prescribe you food,
Six things must note we here in order touch,
First what it is, and then for what 'tis good,
And when and where, how often, and how much:
Who note not this, it cannot be with-stood,
They hurt, not heal, yet are too many such.
Coleworts broth doth loose, the substance bind,
Thus play they fast and loose, and all behind:
But yet if at one time you take them both,
The substance shall give place unto the broth.
Never eating while there is half-digested food still in the Stomach is of primary importance in maintaining health.
These foods are commonly described as heavy of digestion and likely to promote Melancholy.
Eggs are recognised as very nutritious in all Traditions; lightly cooking them is best.
Manchet is fine wheat bread.
Dowcets are testicles
Wine is regarded as one of the healthiest drinks to have with food; in sensitive individuals or those inclining to heat, the wine may be diluted.
Muskadel, Candie, Canary and Madiera are all traditional types of Wine.
Here begins a short list of kitchen remedies against Poison, and especially infection.
'Nuts' means Walnuts.
Garlic has long been regarded as one of the strongest medicines against Poison and Infection.
This passage clearly shows the recognition of 'foul air' being potentially infectious, for example, drain water and feces carrying disease-causing bacteria.
The cure for hangover given here is the 'hair of the dog'; a draught of wine the following morning.
'Gift of Temperance' refers to 'anything in moderation'.
A brief mention of eating with the seasons.
Rue and Sage have long been combined for various purposes; here, to resist Poison.
A basic traditional sauce to have with food to promote digestion and ward off ill humors.
Drinking water was basically never recommended in traditional medicine; broths, teas and drinks such as Barley water, Cordials and Ale were typically ordered.
Here is a list of Birds and Fowls which are of good nourishment.
Choice of Fish.
The benefit of Milk.
The benefit of Whey.
Cheese, wholesome for the healthy.
A discussion about the pros and cons of eating Cheese. Soft, creamy cheese is very Damp and heavy, while hard, aged cheese is hard of digestion. Cheese is nutritious, but is not suitable for all people.
Again a reference to Walnuts against Poison.
Pears were regarded as damp and capable of breeding bad humors unless roasted.
Raisins eaten with Nuts are more beneficial than either eaten alone.
Tripe=Stomach and Intestines
Spodium is properly Tabasheer, or to the ancient Greeks, a type of Zinc. Here, the texts alludes to Spodium being burnt Oxe bone which was probably used as a substitute.
Medicines for the Organs:
Use of Salt
4 Special virtues of Wine
This refers to keeping the habits once established and not to rashly change accepted habits of eating, unless of course they are unhealthful.
'Good diet is a perfect way of curing' has been echoed throughout the history of medicine.