These notes are taken while reading the article written by J. Worth Estes in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. The comments are mine, reflecting my own views and my thoughts during my PhD researches and wanderings…
Reference : “The Medical Properties of Food in the Eighteenth Century”, J. WORTH ESTES, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, APRIL 1996, Vol. 51, No. 2, pp. 127-154, Oxford University Press, http://www.jstor.com/stable/24624109
“There is no sharp borderline between food and drug” (p.127) underlines J. Worth Estes, quoting Henry S. Sigerist (A History of Medicine, 1951).
This phrase points out the “nutritional roles” and the functionalities of food in a therapeutic way (“healing roles” he says). This utilitarianism is very ancient, and Galen or Dioscorides saw plants and food as same products used to heal the body (or the mind). The article written by J. Worth Estes also emphasizes on the influence of the work in the ancient Hippocratic corpus : “food’s role in supplying the body’s ordinary, predictable, needs”. Quoting the Hippocratic corpus, he notes that dietetic and nutritional practices are linked to medical and pharmacological therapies. In fact, they all repair the body, filling in the “continual loss“, the imbalances of the body in its different parts, the “damaged” parts..Continuer la lecture de « Notes on the medical properties of food during the 18th century (J. Worth Estes) [article review] »