Author: RA Kashanipour

Revisiting Chelsea Clark’s The Wonders of Unicorn Horns: Preventions and Cures for Poisoning

Editor’s note: Today, we revisit a wonderful post from Chelsea Clark in 2012 on the intersection of magic and medicine from Early Modern England. Drawing on the seventeenth century  manuscript ascribed to the herbalist Johanna St. John, Clark examines the symbolic power remedies to unwind magical forces.  In this case,…

Revisiting Hannah Newton’s Bitter as Gall or Sickly Sweet? The Taste of Medicine in Early Modern England

Editor’s note: Today, we revisit a post by Hannah Newton, author of a wonderful book on illness and recovery called Misery to Mirth: Recovery from Illness in Early Modern England. In this post, Newton explores the essential gustatory qualities of premodern medicines.  Common afflictions of the era often affected all…

Revisiting Katherine Allen’s Tobacco Smoke Enemas in Eighteenth-Century Domestic Medicine

Editor’s note: Today, we revisit a post from 2013 on the myriad and curious uses of tobacco in early modern England.  European imperialism turned the New World domesticate used primarily in ritual into a global commodity of leisure and health.  As Katherine Allen notes in this post, eighteenth century healers…

Tales from the Archives: A New Year’s Recipe from Old Prussia

As the final post of 2019, we’ve gone deep into our archives with Molly Taylor-Polesky’s piece on a lebkuchen recipe that hails from 14th Century Prussia.  From all of us at the Recipes Project, we wish you a Happy and recipes-filled New Year.   By Molly Taylor-Polesky In the winter…

Christmas Recipes in Early Modern Barcelona

Marta Manzanares Mileo In 1786, Rafael d’Amat i de Cortada, a member of Catalan nobility known as Baron of Maldà, described the Christmas holiday in his memoirs, noting that: “All sorts of torrons are sold in confectionery shops at Christmas, and eaten as dessert at the table of gentlemen as…

A Recipe for the Body: Chiropractic Medicine in Mexico (Part I)

  Jethro Hernández Berrones In the 1970s, Posada Press launched a book series for popular audiences that examined topics on science, religion, history, and society. In this series, chiropractor Ignacio Martínez Ugalde published Quiropráctica: La ciencia y técnica de curar con las manos, where he examined the history and foundations…

When Medicine is a Sin: Sex and Heresy in Colonial Mexico

Farren Yero Laboring in the Mexican mining district of Real del Monte, José Antonio de la Peña met Manuel Arroyo in the summer of 1775. The two young men struck up a secret relationship, sharing a bed, a blanket, and a provocative cure for syphilis. It was the latter that…

Monkey Gland Cocktail

Lucy Jane Santos Think of cocktails and, more than likely, imagery of impossibly glamorous people, smoky rooms, and bootleggers will pop into your head. Or perhaps it’s something closer to unsavoury bars with lurid coloured abominations masquerading as cocktails. But these mixed drinks are so much more than that: they…

Ovid’s Toothpaste: Literary Allusion in One Medieval Cosmetic Recipe

Chelsea Rae Silva Women, declares the sixteenth-century physician Donatus Antonius de Altomare, “think nothing more unseemly… then when they laugh, to show their foule rusty & spotted teeth.” In order to remedy this issue, his text promises to “first shew how we may make [teeth] that are blacke as white…

Palm Trees and Potions: On Portuguese Pharmacy Signs

By Benjamin Breen Anyone who has walked in a European city at night will be familiar with the glow of them: a vivid and snakelike green, slightly eerie when encountered on a lonely street, beautiful in the rain. They were once neon; now most are arrays of ultra-bright Chinese LEDs that…

How to Make an Inca Mummy

Christopher Heaney   As any National Geographic reader will tell you, the Incas and their predecessors in the Andes made mummies, that category of deceased being whose selfhood is artificially or environmentally preserved. In the sixteenth century, however, learned Europeans weren’t sure of anything of the sort, given that ‘mummy,’…

Recipes for Curing Syphilis from Colonial Mexico

By Heather R. Peterson, Assistant Professor of History University of South Carolina, Aiken While there is debate about the origins of syphilis, most Spanish doctors in the sixteenth century followed the physician Nicolas de Monardes in believing it to be of New World origin. Because the disease had appeared and spread…

Introduction – Joyful News of Medicine from Iberian Worlds

R.A. Kashanipour In 1565, the Spanish physician and herbologist, Nicolás Monardes wrote of the great secrets of nature revealed by Spanish encounters of the New World. In the first book of his Dos libros of medicine, Doctor Monardes remarked of the discovery of new and diverse kingdoms in the Occident…

Thomas Gage’s Chocolate Recipe and Regimen

By R.A. Kashanipour In A New Survey of the West-Indies of 1655, the English friar Thomas Gage celebrated the ubiquitous consumption and qualities of chocolate throughout the early modern Spanish Atlantic World, particularly in New Spain. “Chocolate,” wrote the Dominican priest, was consumed in “all the West-India’s, but also in…