Author: Hannah Newton

Bitter as Gall or Sickly Sweet? The Taste of Medicine in Early Modern England

Adriaen Brower’s The Bitter Potion (1640) reminds me of the reaction of my three-year-old niece to the taste of a sprout at Christmas! The man’s face is contorted in an expression of deep revulsion to the bitter medicine. The image seems to confirm Roy Porter’s generalisation that ‘pre-modern medicine tasted…