Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Coffee Break

typographic title page of Samuel Stearns' the American HerbalIt is a cold, rainy day and the students are starting to hunker down to prepare for Winter term finals. It's a good day to hole up and study with a cup of coffee and the lines at the Library coffee shop are long. Those looking for their caffeine and comfort might want to know the advice from The American Herbal by Samuel Stearns (Walpole, NH: Thomas and Thomas and the Author, 1801).

Stearns believed that coffee "assists in digestion" (nice after dinner beverage), "promotes the natural secretions" (we don't want to know), "prevents sleepiness" (duh!), "relieves the spasmodic asthma," and can be effective against kidney disease. But beware, it is "hurtful to thin habits, the bilious, melancholic, hypochondriac, and those subject to hemorrhage." Too much coffee have you feeling bilious or melancholic? Not to worry, Stearns says a cup of chocolate can cure those.

To see what other foods and drinks might do for you, ask for NH Imprints, Walpole 1801b.

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