Café et santé : une longue histoire !

Le site CNN revient sur la très longue histoire des effets du café sur la santé.

Boisson consommée depuis des siècles, partout dans le monde, le breuvage a passionné les chercheurs depuis aussi longtemps. De ses effets sur la sexualité, l’alcoolisme ou encore sur la vision, les études antérieures ont parfois donné des résultats surprenants !

Extraits :

1500s headline: Coffee leads to illegal sex
Legend has it that coffee was discovered by Kaldi, an Ethiopian goatherd, after he caught his suddenly frisky goats eating glossy green leaves and red berries and then tried it for himself. But it was the Arabs who first started coffeehouses, and that’s where coffee got its first black mark.
Patrons of coffeehouses were said to be more likely to gamble and engage in « criminally unorthodox sexual situations, » according to author Ralph Hattox. By 1511 the mayor of Mecca shut them down. He cited medical and religious reasons, saying coffee was an intoxicant and thus prohibited by Islamic law, even though scholars like Mark Pendergrast believe it was more likely a reaction to the unpopular comments about his leadership. The ban didn’t last long, says Pendergrast, adding that coffee became so important in Turkey that « a lack of sufficient coffee provided grounds for a woman to seek a divorce. »
1600s headline: Coffee cures alcoholism but causes impotence
As the popularity of coffee grew and spread across the continent, the medical community began to extol its benefits. It was especially popular in England as a cure for alcoholism, one of the biggest medical problems of the time; after all, water wasn’t always safe to drink, so most men, women and even children drank the hard stuff.
Local ads such as this one in 1652 by coffee shop owner Pasqua Rosée popularized coffee’s healthy status, claiming coffee could aid digestion, prevent and cure gout and scurvy, help coughs, headaches and stomachaches, even prevent miscarriages.
But in London, women were concerned that their men were becoming impotent, and in 1674 The Women’s Petition Against Coffee asked for the closing of all coffeehouses, saying in part: « We find of late a very sensible Decay of that true Old English Vigour. … Never did Men wear greater Breeches, or carry less in them… »
1700s headline: Coffee helps you work longer
By 1730, tea had replaced coffee in London as the daily drink of choice. That preference continued in the colonies until 1773, when the famous Boston Tea Party made it unpatriotic to drink tea. Coffeehouses popped up everywhere, and the marvelous stimulant qualities of the brew were said to contribute to the ability of the colonists to work longer hours.

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