1652: Coffee prevents gout, scury and “miscarryings”

In 1652 Pasqua Rosee, a London coffee house, published what is probably history’s first advertisement for coffee. According to the Rosee’s handbill, coffee is best taken mid-afternoon; the user should avoid food for an hour before and after. It should be drunk in half-pint servings, “as hot as can possibly be endured” without “fetching the skin off the mouth or raising any blisters”.

Among the claims made about the medicinal qualities of coffee:

“It forecloses the orifice of the stomach.. it is very good to help digestion… it quickens the spirits and makes the heart lightsome. It is good against sore eyes… good against the headache… deflexion of rheumas… consumptions and cough of the lungs. It is excellent to prevent and cure the dropsy, gout, and scurvy… It is very good to prevent miscarryings in child-bearing women. It is a most excellent remedy against the spleen, hypochondriac winds or the like. It will prevent drowsiness and make one fit for business… for it will hinder sleep for three or four hours.

Source: Pasqua Rosee handbill, Cornhill, 1652. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.