Views & Reviews Past Caring

Ye olde guide to healthy living

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 24 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1751
  1. Wendy Moore, freelance writer and author, London
  1. wendymoore{at}

    Faced with today’s baffling profusion of self help advice, ranging from the daft to the downright dangerous, bewildered patients could do worse than return to the wholesome simplicity of Restoration England. Whether disfigured by scurvy, poxed by running sores, or simply a little bit under the weather, the afflicted in the 17th century could rely on eminently sensible advice from no less a reliable quarter than Charles II’s own doctor.

    Although he possessed no university medical qualification and incurred the wrath of the College of Physicians for practising unlicensed, John Archer not only enjoyed the title of Chymical Physitian in Ordinary to …

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