January 1, 1772
There are other facts which seem to show that too much is attributed by Dr. Trotter to fresh vegetables. Linnæus informs us, that the Laplanders are unacquainted with the scurvy ; they feed all the winter on the fresh flesh of the reindeer.
Observations On The Nature And Cure Of Calculus, Sea Scurvy, Consumption, Catarrh, And Fever: Together With Conjectures Upon Several Other Subjects Of Physiology And Pathology - 1793
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There are other facts which seem to show that too much is attributed by Dr. Trotter to fresh vegetables. Linnæus informs us, that the Laplanders are unacquainted with the scurvy ; they feed all the winter on the fresh flesh of the reindeer. This exemption of the Laplanders from the general distemper of the north , says Pringle, “is the more observable, as they seldom taste vegetables, bread 'never.' ( Cook 's Voyages, from 1772 to 1775. vol. ii. p. 376 .)
A discourse upon some late improvements of the means for preserving the health of mariners. Delivered at the anniversary meeting of the Royal Society, November 30, 1776. By Sir John Pringle, Baronet, President. Published by their order:
Pringle, John, Sir, 1707-1782.
It hath been said, that the scurvy is much owing to the coldness of the air, which checks perspiration; and it is therefore the endemic distemper of the Northern na∣tions, and particularly of those around the Baltic*. The fact is partly true, but I doubt not so the cause. In those regions, by the long and severe winters, the cattle destitute of pasture can barely live, and are therefore unfit for use; so that the people, for their provision during that season, Page 10are obliged to slaughter them by the end of autumn, and to salt them for half the year. This putrid diet then, on which they must subsist so long, and to which the inha∣bitants of the South are not reduced, is the chief cause of the disease. And if we reflect, that the lower people of the North have few or no greens nor fruit in the win∣ter, little fermented liquors, and often live in damp, foul, and ill-aired houses, it is easy to conceive how they should become liable to the same indisposition with seamen; whilst others of as high a latitude, but who live in a different manner, keep free from it. Thus we are informed by LINNAEUS, that the Laplanders, one of the most hyperbo∣rean nations, know nothing of the scurvy*; for which no other reason can be assigned than their never eating salted meats, nor indeed salt with any thing, but their using all the winter the fresh flesh of their rain-deer.
This exemption of the Laplanders from the general dis∣temper of the North is the more observable, as they seldom taste vegetables, bread never, as we farther learn from that celebrated author. Yet in the very provinces which border on Lapland, where they use bread, but scarcely any other vegetable, and eat salted meats, they are as Page 11much troubled with the scurvy as in any other country*. But let us incidentally remark, that the late improvements in agriculture, gardening, and the other arts of life, by extending their influence to the remotest parts of Europe, and to the lowest people, begin sensibly to lessen the fre∣quency of that complaint, even in those climates that have been once the most afflicted with it.
It hath also been asserted, that men living on shore will be affected with the scurvy, though they have never been accustomed to a salt-diet; but of this I have never known an instance, except in those who breathed in an air that is marshy, or otherwise putrid, and who wanted exercise, fruits and green vegetables: under such circumstances it must be granted that the humours will corrupt in the same manner, though not in the same degree, with those of ma∣riners. Thus, in the late war, when Sisinghurst Castle in Kent was filled with French prisoners, the scurvy broke out among them, though they had never been served with salted victuals in England; but had daily had an al∣lowance of fresh meat, and of bread in proportion, though without greens or any other vegetable. The surgeon Page 12who attended them, and from whom I received this information, having formerly been employed in the navy, was the betterable to judge of the disorder, and to cure it. Besides the deficiency of greens, he observed that the wards were foul and crouded, the house damp (from a moat that surrounded it) and that the bounds allotted for taking the air were so small, and in wet weather so sloughy, that the men seldom went out. He added, that a representation having been made, he had been empowered to furnish the prisoners with roots and greens for boiling in their soup, and to quarter the sick in a neighbouring village in a dry situation, with liberty to go out for air and exercise; and that by these means they had all quickly recovered. It is probable, that the scurvy sooner appeared among these strangers, from their having all been taken at sea, and con∣sequently being the more disposed to the distemper. My informer farther acquainted me, that in the lower and wetter parts of that county, where some of his practice lay, he had now and then met with slighter cases of the scurvy among the common people; such, he said, as lived the whole winter on salted bacon, without fermented li∣quors, greens, or any fruit, a few apples excepted; but, he remarked, that in the winters following a plentiful growth of that fruit, those peasants were visibly less liable to that ailment.