Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: diet

  • Menstrual health in early Indian medical tradition

    Benjamin DarkwaEdmonton, Canada Introduction As one of the oldest medical traditions, Ayurveda has existed for about two thousand years.1 Caraka and Susruta are the most famous medical compendiums of Ayurveda. These classical texts associate diseases with the imbalance of three dosas (humors): vata (wind), kapha (phlegm), and pitta (bile). The three dosa theory, illustrated in…

  • Dr. AJ Cronin: Still persona non grata?

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “I have written all I feel about the medical profession, its injustices, its hide-bound unscientific stubbornness . . . The horrors and inequities detailed in the story I have personally witnessed. This is not an attack against individuals but against a system.”1—AJ Cronin Archibald Joseph Cronin (1896–1981) was born in Scotland to…

  • Obesity in the Middle Ages: Sancho el Craso

    Nicolás Roberto Robles  Badajoz, Spain “Severe obesity restricts body movements and maneuvers . . . breathing passages become blocked and do not pass good air . . . these patients are at risk of sudden death . . . they are vulnerable to having a stroke, hemiplegia, palpitations, diarrhea, dizziness . . . men are…

  • Walter Kempner (1903–1997) and his rice diet

    Photo of Walter Kempner. Source. Walter Kempner, the doctor with the thick German accent who came to America to escape from the Nazis, was born in 1903. Son of two bacteriologists who had both worked on tuberculosis, he graduated in medicine from the  University of Heidelberg in 1928 and subsequently worked there and in Berlin. When…

  • Food as medicine

    Keerthi Gondy Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States   Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels In my family, food is the language of love. A warm meal is the way we say “I love you.” Whenever I get sick, my mother prepares a pot of spicy turmeric soup and honey lemon tea. When my brother threw a game-winning strike…

  • Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor

    Otto von Bismarck was born into a family of Junkers in Brandenburg in 1815. Becoming prime minister of Prussia at the age of forty-seven in 1862, he remained in power for twenty-eight years. During this time he united Germany under Prussian hegemony; defeated Denmark, Austria, and France in three wars; annexed Schleswig-Holstein, Alsace, and Lorraine…

  • Hearkening back to Hippocrates: rediscovering “food as medicine” in the age of quinoa and kale

    Shehryar R. Sheikh Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Portrait of Hippocrates from the Magni Hippocratis Coi opera omnia. Credited to Lugduni Batavorum, 1665. Wellcome Library (London). In my opinion, nobody would have even sought for medicine, if the same diets (διαιτήµατα) had suited both the sick and those in health.”1 – Hippocrates, from the treatise…

  • The hypocrisy of the advice-giver

    Kathryn Taylor San Francisco, California, United States   MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet, as recommended by the U.S. government. I do not floss daily. And I have poor sleep hygiene—I am always starting into the blue-light, back-lit screen before I go to bed. My vegetable intake…