A Historical View On Coffee And Well-Being Coffee

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a-historical-view-on-coffee-and-well-being
A Historical View On Coffee And Well-Being. The effects of coffee consumption on the human body and mind have been discussed throughout history. The enticing flavor and stimulating characteristics have been both praised and derided. We’ll look at how it was perceived and what part it played in society from the beginning to the present in this section.

a-historical-view-on-coffee-and-well-being

History of coffee beans

The earliest references to coffee use may be found in the Old Testament when a bean was referred to as “parched pulse,” and the first recorded mention of coffee by Razes, an Arabian physician from the 10th century, who claims that coffee cultivation began as early as AD 575. (Smith, 1987).

There are numerous legends about the origins of coffee use. When Mohammed was sick and prayed to Allah, the angel Gabriel appeared with a drink “as dark as the Kaaba of Mecca,” giving him “enough strength to unseat 40 men from their saddles and make love to the equal number of women” (Smith, 1987).

The most well-known narrative is that of Kaldi, a mythical Abyssinian goat herder who crossed the Red Sea in the 9th century (the old name for Ethiopia). According to legend, Kaldi noted that particular berries, which he assumed were coffee cherries, made his goats prance happily. So he decided to give them a shot and ended up alleviating his own sadness (Ukers, 1935). A monk from a monastery down the hills where Kaldi tended his flock witnessed the goats’ behavior and brought some of the berries back to the monastery, roasted and brewed them, and tried out the beverage on his monks, according to another version of Kaldi’s narrative. As a result, individuals were more awake during their nighttime prayers (Ukers, 1935; Smith, 1987).

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The ancient Middle Eastern physician Avicenna (980e1037), often known as the Prince of Physicians and author of the Canon of Medicine, wrote the first known written record on the medicinal virtues and uses of coffee (Ukers, 1935). Wine, ladies, and sexual pleasure were his passions. Coffee was a decongestant, muscular relaxant, and diuretic in his opinion (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910).

Sheikh Omar of Mocha, a doctor-priest, is supposed to have discovered coffee in Arabia around 1258. He was starving in exile at Ousab until he came across some coffee cherries. He decided to boil them to soften them a little because they were too hard and bitter to consume, which resulted in a brown soupy liquid that he drank instead. This dark liquid, he claimed, revived and brightened him, as well as awakened his sinking spirits (Ukers, 1935). His coffee became known as a cure-all for a variety of ailments. The governor honored Sheikh Omar by establishing a monastery for him and his disciples when he returned to Mocha.

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We may never know which of these stories were true if any at all. But, rumors and speculations aside, we can be confident that as soon as a set of people began drinking coffee, others attempted to prohibit it for health, religious, political, or cultural reasons.

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For example, in 1511, the governor of Mecca, 494 The Craft and Science of Coffee Kair Bey, told the account of two powerful physician brothers named Hakimani who outlawed coffee because it induced people to indulge in extravagances that were against the law.

 

When the Sultan in Cairo learned of this, he was incensed and ordered their execution (Smith, 1987). Only two decades later, in 1534, a group of Islamists and a group of powerful physicians took opposing sides in the controversy over coffee, its health benefits, and its reliability. The chief justice sided with the doctors, putting to rest any reservations about coffee’s potential health risks. People were particularly concerned that roasted coffee looked like charcoal, a product that the Koran expressly forbade (Smith, 1987).

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Since Dr. Leonard Rauwolf, a German physician, introduced coffee to Western Europe in 1582 after a journey to Aleppo, coffee and its impact on health have had a tumultuous reputation in Europe. “They have a very nice drink beside them called chaube (coffee) that is almost as black as ink and very good in disease, especially stomach ailment,” Dr. Rauwolf wrote (Ukers, 1935). Although his advice on coffee’s restorative virtues helped it gain popularity, some in the church thought it was wicked. That was before Pope Clement VIII famously stated, “Why, this Satan’s wine is so wonderful that it would be a pity to give it exclusively to the infidels.” By baptizing it and making it a truly Christian beverage, we will deceive Satan” (Ukers, 1935).

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The discussion, however, did not end there. Coffee’s therapeutic value was questioned in a 1679 dissertation presented to the Marseille College of Physicians. “We must necessarily conclude that coffee is harmful to the majority of the citizens of Marseille,” the Faculty of Aix concluded (Ukers, 1935). However, as coffee consumption grew in popularity, this judgment was largely ignored.

The coffee and health debate died out until Charles (Charlie) William Post, a successful cereal producer, produced a grain-based beverage that was supposed to be a coffee substitute in the late 1800s. Charlie was one of the first entrepreneurs to employ mass advertising to sell his product, and his ads made a number of unsubstantiated health claims about his beverage, significantly impacting coffee’s appeal (Pendergast, 1999).

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Through the middle of the twentieth century, unsubstantiated health claims for and against coffee persisted. Dr. Max Gerson, for example, proposed coffee enemas as a cancer treatment in the 1930s. He stated that coffee dialysis pulled harmful chemicals from the blood via the gut mucosa and/or bile ducts, removing them from the liver (Gerson, 1978). Despite the lack of scientific evidence, some holistic practitioners continue to practice this therapy today, particularly in Asia, despite recent research refuting its effectiveness (Teekachunhatean et al., 2013).

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Our understanding of coffee and its health benefits has altered tremendously as a result of current scientific techniques. This, along with vast, reliable databases and advanced statistics, has permitted the separation of confounding factors in epidemiological studies, such as pre-existing medical disorders, smoking, or a poor quality diet. Both observational studies that collect vast quantities of data on disease incidence and self-reported questionnaires on food consumption frequency have been used.

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Hundreds of scientific publications have been published in the last decade, erasing coffee’s poor reputation and emphasizing its beneficial benefits to human health. Strong evidence now shows that moderate coffee use, defined as two to four cups per day, is not linked to an increased risk of long-term health problems in healthy people.  As a result, moderate coffee drinking, along with other healthy behaviors, can be incorporated into a healthy diet (US Department of Agriculture, 2015). We may finally be able to break free from the angel-or-demon loop that has plagued coffee’s reputation for hundreds of years, thanks to the improved availability of high-quality health data.

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1 comment

  1. June 3, 2022 at 11:53 am
    fdrmrjvre

    Such beautiful writing this is. I appreciate your talent.

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