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Diet and Regimen

A. F. M. Willich (fl. 1776)
Lectures on diet and regimen,  being a systematic inquiry into the most rational means of preserving health and prolonging life (New York : printed by T. and J. Swords, 1801)
MU Special Collections
Rare Book Collection
RM215 .W7 1801

Willich, a physician, published widely on many subjects.  His Lectures on Diet and Regimen was so popular it went through three editions in three years.  Tobias Smollett pronounced it “by far the fullest, most perfect, and comprehensive dietetic system which has yet appeared.”

Willich provides a lengthy discussion of the four humors and advises choosing foods to balance one’s disposition. Beef, he says, is the single most nutritious food, but persons with hot humors should take care not to eat too much:

Beef affords much good, animating, and strong nourishment, and no other food is equal to the flesh of a bullock of middle age.  On account of its heating nature, it ought not to be used where there is already an abundance of heat; and persons of a violent temper should eat it in moderation.

Willich also advises attention to the circumstances in which an animal was raised.  Mutton from sheep raised in damp pastures, for example, is not as nutritious as that from sheep raised in dry pastures.

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