Asthma

Updated 16 September 2014

Coffee for Roosevelt: treatment a century ago

If you ever think that taking your asthma medication is an inconvenience, spare a thought for asthmatics from days gone by.

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Over the years, our understanding of medicines has improved in leaps and bounds. If you ever think that taking your asthma medication is an inconvenience, spare a thought for asthmatics from days gone by.

At the beginning of the 19th Century, treatments for asthma included a daily teaspoon of mustard seeds or quicksilver and cinnabar. It was also believed that liquor, strong coffee, smoking tobacco (an absolute no-no, nowadays!) and garlic were helpful in controlling asthma.

Worst of all, however, was “bleeding” the patient - either by cutting the vein or using leeches.

Did you know that Marcel Proust (a 19th Century philosopher and writer), American president Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, and British author Charles Dickens were all asthmatics?

- (Health24.com)

 

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Professor Keertan Dheda has received of several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others.Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute

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