Bacchic Medicine: Wine and Alcohol Therapies from Napoleon to the French Paradox


Wine, said Louis Pasteur, is the most healthful and the most hygienic of all beverages. Since antiquity, wine was believed to stimulate the appetite, aid digestion, and act as a general energiser in debility, and was prescribed for practically every complaint. In Bacchic Medicine Harry W Paul, professor of history at the university of Florida, charts in scholarly, though somewhat confusing and repetitive detail, the rise and fall of the French love affair with vinothérapie.

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