Thank you for the reblog: this is an exhaustive study on one of my favorite subjects***

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

We here at Points are delighted to welcome a new guest blogger for the next few weeks: Winston Black, an intellectual historian of medieval England and France who has published several essays on medical and religious education, and an edition, translation, and study of Henry of Huntingdon’sAnglicanus Ortus: A Verse Herbal of the Twelfth Century(Toronto and Oxford, 2012). He is currently the Haslam Postdoctoral Fellow in the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies of the University of Tennessee.

A recent essay in The Guardian compares modern cough medicines to the medieval cure-all theriac. The picture painted of medieval medicine is not so patronizing as usually found in the press: according to the author, neither ‘drug’ actually cures anything, there was a vigorous market for both, and both possessed some sort of placebo effect. The similarities end there. Whereas most modern cough medicines rely on sweeteners, affordability…

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