Monday, November 20, 2017

Medical Middle Ages : Cancer and Salerno Diet (quora)

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : Medical Middle Ages : Cancer and Salerno Diet (quora) · Middle Ages on Quora (non Medical) · Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Were the Middle Ages that Terrible? (Quora)

Was cancer around in the Middle Ages?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
History buff since childhood. CSL & Eco added to Medieval lore. + Classics.
Answered Dec 21, 2016
As a little complement to previous answers, which all say cancer was around.

Using the Salerno Diet was probably not done to prolong life into one’s eighties.

It was probably done to avoid absence due to disease from the duties of royalty (who had requested the Salerno doctors’ advice).

But it probably also saw to it one died around 60’s after short but intensive illness, like cancer, cardiovascular or such.

So kings (or property owners and business men) using it avoided sick leave, but augmented risk of dying young, among other things, I suppose, in cancer.

Aaron Wyatt
Dec 21, 2016
What is this “Salerno diet” you speak of? Interested in learning about the subject, but a quick Google gave me nothing but articles about a recent fad diet written by one Dr. Salerno.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
2m ago
Salerno diet … sorry for not seeing your question before.

An English king made a health question to the Medical Faculty of Salerno and the answer was popularised in an English, perhaps even rhymed translation.

One characteristic is, it was rich in proteins and calories, including from alcohol. It was not sth everyone could afford, it was likely to protect you from infections, but also likely to wear you out quicker by “welfare diseases”.

One speculation is, it would have been because once you were infected, you were doomed. No, a punctual applicance of Salerno diet while you were infected with a flu was very likely to cure you fairly quickly, and still is. The real problem is, with a normally leaner life and sick absence, well, imagine a king and sick leave (politically).

As to reference:

Medieval Medical Training and Texts

It gives a reference : Regimen sanitatis Salernitanum. Ente Provinciale per il Turismo. 1966?

I quote about it : The Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum, the Code of Health of the School of Salernum, gives a good idea of the medical teaching of the school and was translated into English several times. The Regimen was popular for many centuries and contains no specific remedies, only charming rules for diet, air, exercise, etc. for good health and "simples:" A Salernitan influence cannot be shown to have penetrate England until perhaps the early 12th century.

Another reference:

I Tried a Medieval Diet, And I Didn't Even Get That Drunk

(It’s a few pages after "Dr Salerno" on the search testing the salerno diet)

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