Friday, September 25, 2015

How to Eat in Autumn, 1600

Later, old cheese.
The Grete Herball (1529), Wellcome Library
"Autumne beginneth, when the sunne entreth the first degree of Libra, which is the thirteenth day of September. Then it is Aequinoctiall, meteors are seene, the times do alter, the aire waxeth cold, the leaves do fall, corne is reaped, the earth loseth hir beautie, and melancholy is ingendered. For which cause, such things as breede melancholy are to bee avoyded, as feare, care, beanes, old cheese, salt beefe, broath of colewoorts, & such like. You may safely eate mutton, lambe, pigges, and young pullets. Take heed of the morning & evening cold." 
William Vaughan, Naturall and Artificial Directions for Health 
The key to a happy autumn? Just avoid fear and cabbage broth.

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Shower, 1867

An Encyclopaedia of Domestic Economy, 1844
"The shower bath, notwithstanding the abuse in its application and the consequent injury, is, when properly applied, one of the best baths ever employed... Begin with the water tepid, then change to cool, followed by a dash of cold, is the best plan for most bathers. Arrange the water at the right temperature, then let it fall first upon the hands and arms, rubbing them vigorously; then upon the feet and legs, then the neck, back and chest, rubbing each part while the water falls upon it; then turning the body, alternately exposing different parts to the falling shower for two or three minutes... As a general rule the cold water should not fall on the top of the head, nor even the tepid water, if the hair is long and heavy; but if it is short, and the bather in good health, it is a great luxury to let the tepid or cool water come trickling down over the head, face and entire body... The shower bath... is useful for cleanliness, for increasing the external circulation, and for removing internal congestion and inflammation... for those in a vigorous state of health it is a decided luxury to take it, cold, as a regular morning bath."  
E. P. Miller, "How to Bathe," Herald of Health
Nothing says "great luxury" like two or three minutes of cold water on your head.