Scurvy and cloudberries: A chapter in the history of nutritional sciences

Luigi M De Luca, Kaare R. Norum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We translated two Latin texts about scurvy. One is by Ambrosius Rhodius, who in 1635 published his doctoral thesis on scurvy. This contains aspects of 16th- and 17th-century folklore medicine. The other is a 1593 letter by Henrik Høyer (Hoierus), a German physician in Bergen, Norway. The letter states that in Norway grew a plant, Chamaemorus Norvegicus, whose berries had curative abilities against scurvy. Rhodius lists symptoms of scurvy and suggests ingestion of fatty and smoked foods as etiological agents. He thought that a malfunction of the spleen was involved in this disease, so that the undigested parts of the chylus perturbed liver function. Plants with curative abilities were "those that abound in volatile salts." He listed seven facilitating causes of scurvy and its therapies. These included blood-letting after laxatives and root extracts. The star of theshowwasthe cloudberry, which had miraculous effects on scurvy patients. Palliative care included a bath containing decoction of brooklime, water cress, mallow, hogweed, roman chamomile, and similar plants. Before bathing, the person was to drink an extract of wormwood, scurvy grass, or elder. As medication forgums and teeth, Rhodius recommended rosemary, hyssop, bistort, sage, nasturtium, waterweed, creeping Jenny, and scurvy grass. He referred to medications described by Albertus, Sennertus, and in antiquity by Hippocrates and Galenus. We discuss themanuscripts by Høyer and Rhodius in light of earlier treatments and opinions about scurvy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2101-2105
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume141
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

Fingerprint

Nutritional Sciences
Scurvy
History
Norway
Poaceae
Chamaemelum
Nasturtium
Polygonum
Folklore
Brassicaceae
Artemisia
Laxatives
Palliative Care
Baths
Fruit
Tooth
Spleen
Salts
Eating
Medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Scurvy and cloudberries : A chapter in the history of nutritional sciences. / De Luca, Luigi M; Norum, Kaare R.

In: Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 141, No. 12, 01.12.2011, p. 2101-2105.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e82dc302a2c14c858cbf5a1adcd14079,
title = "Scurvy and cloudberries: A chapter in the history of nutritional sciences",
abstract = "We translated two Latin texts about scurvy. One is by Ambrosius Rhodius, who in 1635 published his doctoral thesis on scurvy. This contains aspects of 16th- and 17th-century folklore medicine. The other is a 1593 letter by Henrik H{\o}yer (Hoierus), a German physician in Bergen, Norway. The letter states that in Norway grew a plant, Chamaemorus Norvegicus, whose berries had curative abilities against scurvy. Rhodius lists symptoms of scurvy and suggests ingestion of fatty and smoked foods as etiological agents. He thought that a malfunction of the spleen was involved in this disease, so that the undigested parts of the chylus perturbed liver function. Plants with curative abilities were {"}those that abound in volatile salts.{"} He listed seven facilitating causes of scurvy and its therapies. These included blood-letting after laxatives and root extracts. The star of theshowwasthe cloudberry, which had miraculous effects on scurvy patients. Palliative care included a bath containing decoction of brooklime, water cress, mallow, hogweed, roman chamomile, and similar plants. Before bathing, the person was to drink an extract of wormwood, scurvy grass, or elder. As medication forgums and teeth, Rhodius recommended rosemary, hyssop, bistort, sage, nasturtium, waterweed, creeping Jenny, and scurvy grass. He referred to medications described by Albertus, Sennertus, and in antiquity by Hippocrates and Galenus. We discuss themanuscripts by H{\o}yer and Rhodius in light of earlier treatments and opinions about scurvy.",
author = "{De Luca}, {Luigi M} and Norum, {Kaare R.}",
year = "2011",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3945/jn.111.145334",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "141",
pages = "2101--2105",
journal = "Journal of Nutrition",
issn = "0022-3166",
publisher = "American Society for Nutrition",
number = "12",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Scurvy and cloudberries

T2 - A chapter in the history of nutritional sciences

AU - De Luca, Luigi M

AU - Norum, Kaare R.

PY - 2011/12/1

Y1 - 2011/12/1

N2 - We translated two Latin texts about scurvy. One is by Ambrosius Rhodius, who in 1635 published his doctoral thesis on scurvy. This contains aspects of 16th- and 17th-century folklore medicine. The other is a 1593 letter by Henrik Høyer (Hoierus), a German physician in Bergen, Norway. The letter states that in Norway grew a plant, Chamaemorus Norvegicus, whose berries had curative abilities against scurvy. Rhodius lists symptoms of scurvy and suggests ingestion of fatty and smoked foods as etiological agents. He thought that a malfunction of the spleen was involved in this disease, so that the undigested parts of the chylus perturbed liver function. Plants with curative abilities were "those that abound in volatile salts." He listed seven facilitating causes of scurvy and its therapies. These included blood-letting after laxatives and root extracts. The star of theshowwasthe cloudberry, which had miraculous effects on scurvy patients. Palliative care included a bath containing decoction of brooklime, water cress, mallow, hogweed, roman chamomile, and similar plants. Before bathing, the person was to drink an extract of wormwood, scurvy grass, or elder. As medication forgums and teeth, Rhodius recommended rosemary, hyssop, bistort, sage, nasturtium, waterweed, creeping Jenny, and scurvy grass. He referred to medications described by Albertus, Sennertus, and in antiquity by Hippocrates and Galenus. We discuss themanuscripts by Høyer and Rhodius in light of earlier treatments and opinions about scurvy.

AB - We translated two Latin texts about scurvy. One is by Ambrosius Rhodius, who in 1635 published his doctoral thesis on scurvy. This contains aspects of 16th- and 17th-century folklore medicine. The other is a 1593 letter by Henrik Høyer (Hoierus), a German physician in Bergen, Norway. The letter states that in Norway grew a plant, Chamaemorus Norvegicus, whose berries had curative abilities against scurvy. Rhodius lists symptoms of scurvy and suggests ingestion of fatty and smoked foods as etiological agents. He thought that a malfunction of the spleen was involved in this disease, so that the undigested parts of the chylus perturbed liver function. Plants with curative abilities were "those that abound in volatile salts." He listed seven facilitating causes of scurvy and its therapies. These included blood-letting after laxatives and root extracts. The star of theshowwasthe cloudberry, which had miraculous effects on scurvy patients. Palliative care included a bath containing decoction of brooklime, water cress, mallow, hogweed, roman chamomile, and similar plants. Before bathing, the person was to drink an extract of wormwood, scurvy grass, or elder. As medication forgums and teeth, Rhodius recommended rosemary, hyssop, bistort, sage, nasturtium, waterweed, creeping Jenny, and scurvy grass. He referred to medications described by Albertus, Sennertus, and in antiquity by Hippocrates and Galenus. We discuss themanuscripts by Høyer and Rhodius in light of earlier treatments and opinions about scurvy.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84855556933&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84855556933&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3945/jn.111.145334

DO - 10.3945/jn.111.145334

M3 - Article

C2 - 22013203

AN - SCOPUS:84855556933

VL - 141

SP - 2101

EP - 2105

JO - Journal of Nutrition

JF - Journal of Nutrition

SN - 0022-3166

IS - 12

ER -