Wine for health

Today, in Beaune in Burgundy, in France I visited Hospice from 1443 built for the poor ones. It was functioning as a hospital until 1971. It is a marvellous example of taking care of people and a most beautiful building. Among many interesting treatment practices I found this one - treatment with wine. I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I did, but not bring it into practice 😊


Comments

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @jowitt.europe I had to laugh at the 1lt of wine the male employees were given. Must have been a merry old time by the end of the day! What an extraordinary building. Are you taking a holiday in France?

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,453 admin

    In yet another regard, it seems that I hold fast to the old traditions!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,503 admin
    edited September 2021

    What an interesting building. Wine as treatment for kids? Hmm. I wonder how they determined how much was "healthy" for each group? Not everyone can handle the same amount without getting drunk. I am sure that there were addictions in many of the ages there, and not everyone would have been artificially "happy" as a result. Some will have become angry & abusive. I'm sure there were most likely the negative things present that go along with something like that.

    Either way, an interesting piece of history.

    This appears to be a hospice/homeless shelter if I understand correctly. Pretty fancy! You wouldn't find anything quite like that today.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    Not saying that I am in favour of this treatment, but it might have been healthier than drinking the water in the middle ages. :) As it states in the article, wine was thought to be the most "hygienic" beverage.

  • COWLOVINGIRL
    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow, I have never seen anything like this! So cool!

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,453 admin

    Monastic Medicine was the main herbal tradition and the sole source of hospitals and healthcare in the middle ages:


  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,446 admin

    @JodieDownUnder me too. i had to laugh too. And “ grumble” that women were discriminated 😉. We are touring France and hope to reach Mont Saint Michel weather permitting.

    @LaurieLovesLearning yes, that was a shelter for sick and ill homeless and poor. Historically it was a very hard period for French people and such an establishment was really very progressive. Burgundy is one of the two most prominent areas for wine in France. They had plenty already in those days. And, as @torey rightly points out - more hygienic as water. I hope there were not too many hospitalised children. But the whole institution looks extremely impressive.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    When I was studying French in high school, we learned that the French had wine on a daily basis (and presumable many other European countries). And I think it may have been with most meals. Even the children drank wine though I believe that was watered down. My french teacher was French. Not sure how much has changed over the years.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,019 ✭✭✭✭

    What a beautiful place to encourage healing. I have done reading about how a lot wine, beer and spirits used to be made with medicinal herbs and such. So maybe that was part of it. And if nothing else it would help keep everyone relaxed and de-stressed which is healing :)

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭

    That is very interesting. I recently bought a flask and intend to keep wine in it for my first aid kit. I didn't know why, just felt like that was what i needed to do after reading about the good samaritan in my Bible. I know that's a parable but still interesting that in the storyline oil and wine were something he just happened to be carrying around to be able to treat an injured person.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,446 admin

    @nicksamanda11 there are many recipes for medicinal wines. They are still quite popular. They would have less alkohol as tinctures.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,453 admin

    Dioscorides wrote a lot about wines in de Materia Medica. Here is the general description of its virtues:

    Generally, all unmixed and simple wine (hard by nature) is warming, easily digested and good for the stomach. It encourages the appetite, is nourishing, induces sleep, and causes a good colour. Taken liberally as a drink it helps [antidote] those who have taken hemlock, coriander, pharmicum [?poison], ixia [3-103], meconium [4-65], lithargyrum [5-102], smilax, aconitum [4-77, 4-78] or mushrooms; as well as for snakebites and the strikes of all that by striking or biting kill by cold or overturn the stomach. It is effective for long-lasting windiness, anxiety from hypochondrium [nervous gastric disorder], distension and hiccups of the stomach, and excessive discharges of the bowels and intestines. It is good for sweating and those who faint from it, especially the white, old, sweet-smelling wines. The old sweet wines (applied with lana succida [underneath wool]) are more useful for disorders of the bladder and kidneys, as well as for wounds and inflammation. They are usefully applied with hot cloths for malignancies and eating, running ulcers. Those without seawater (hard and white) are fitting for use in times of health. Of these the Italian wines excel, such as falernum, surrentinum, caecubum, signenan, many others from Campania, the praepian from the Adriatic coast, and the Sicilian called mamertinum. Of the Greek wines, there is the Chian [from Scios in the Aegean sea], the wine from Lesbos, and the phygelites from Ephesus. Thick black wines are bad for the stomach and inflative yet increase body weight. Those thinner and harder are good for the stomach and increase body weight less. Those that are very old and thin and white are more urinary, yet if taken as a drink too much they affect the strength. Wines of a middle age are best for drinking, such as those of seven years. The amount consumed must be gauged by the person's age, the time of the year, the customs of the drinker, and the quality of the wine. The best rule is not to be thirsty and to indulge moderately, for all drunkenness (especially that which is continual) is pernicious. For the strength, besieged daily (at last) yields, and too much drinking every day allows the entrance of sharp disorders. Taken moderately as a drink for a few days (especially after drinking water) it is acceptable. It alters the state of a man in a way, purging vapors that annoy the senses, and opening the internal organs secretly. Yet after drinking wine you must drink water, for it brings some help in avoiding illness owing to drunkenness.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin
    edited October 2021

    @judsoncarroll4 Some pretty good advice from Dioscorides.

    Drinking water alternately with alcoholic beverages will help with drunkenness.

    Wool wraps are good for the kidneys. Very interesting that he would apply wool soaked in wine around the kidneys.

    Not sure that wine would help with hemlock poisoning but worth a try if nothing else is at hand. An antidote to mushroom poisoning is interesting. Some usually edible mushrooms can cause a toxic reaction in a small percentage of individuals that drink alcohol while eating mushrooms, particularly shaggy manes.

    I wasn't familiar with the names of some of the wines and had to look them up. This is a link to early Roman vintages. https://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/wine/vintage.html

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 961 ✭✭✭✭

    What beautiful architecture! I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,446 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 you know so much about wine! In our home it is my husband’s area of interest. We went to the main wine event of the year in Burgundy. Not necessarily to mention that the boot of the car on the way back from France was stuffed with wine. However my only criteria is whether I like it or not and I prefer red wine to white. I drink very little wine, unless it is with French cheese 😊.

    So far I have not tried to make medicinal wines. I might one day.

    @torey I have also heard that one should not drink alcohol with certain mushrooms. So far we eat mushrooms only from our forest and only very few kinds where I am 100% sure. I think we take wine when we have them. Better not.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,446 admin

    Oh yes! It is a pride of Beaune in Burgundy. It is a UNESCO heritage.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,453 admin

    As the book of Sirach states, "Wine is very life to anyone, if taken in moderation. Does anyone really live who lacks the wine which from the beginning was created for joy. Joy of heart, good cheer, and delight is wine enough, drunk at the proper time. Headache, bitterness, and disgrace is wine drunk amid anger and strife."