The idea of needing to sort out ailments by ‘cleansing’ a person’s blood is very, very old and today health food shops are full of all sorts of things which can supposedly do this… although I think the science is debatable. There are every sort of diet you can imagine which is advertised to sort out a variety of health problems and issues, and some of the diets are very strange indeed.
Mrs Sue Robb in her little recipe book from her days when she wrote a column for a newspaper, includes all sorts of folk remedies, and stories from long ago of how rural communities in old times looked after themselves. here is what she writes about blood cleansing:
(Spring time…) this is when stone jars in the kitchen were filled with a mixture of treacle and sulphur, and every morning each member of the family was given a spoonful after breakfast.
And the sensible size of teaspoons in those days were large and brimming, so everyone had a good dose.
The young folk were given nettle soup and well chopped young nettles were put in barley broth. This was the way to keep fresh and clean. And if you were peakey, what could be better than a raw egg beaten up with milk to be taken every day?
When money was too scarce for medical advice, country folk put their trust in natural food and home food.
I cannot imagine anything worse than treacle and sulphur… and I can just imagine my daughter’s face if I was to try to give her nettle soup, barley and nettle soup, and particularly raw egg in milk!