This section is from the book "Meals Medicinal", by W. T. Fernie. Also available from Amazon: Meals Medicinal: With "Herbal Simples" Curative Foods From the Cook in Place of Drugs From the Chemist.
The Barm (or Levurine) which has been told about when treating here of bread, merits some fuller notice as an admirably useful form of yeast against the staphylococcus pyogenes, or mischievous microbe which is causative of most purulent inflammations in the human subject. This Levurine is actually fresh barm from the brewhouse, dried skilfully, and reduced to a powder, of a light chestnut colour, with a smell of fermenting beer. Treatment of putrid, or septic inflammations by it is found (in Paris) to be much superior to that by the yeast of fresh beer. It is well borne by the stomach, and can be given freely, even up to six teaspoonf uls of the powder in a day; such an energetic course being necessary when the septic poisoning by disease is intense. Furthermore, it will act as preventive of microbic assaults, if taken with this view at the time of surgical operations, where infection seems a thing to be feared. For unhealthy boils, or a sloughing carbuncle, as well as for septic pneumonia (lung inflammation of a low, prostrating type), or septic rheumatism, when acute, Barm, administered liberally in the manner now enjoined, may justly claim curative powers almost positively specific.
The best way of giving it is by dissolving doses (a teaspoonful at a time) of the powder in a little beer, to be taken between meals; or it can be exhibited in cachets, as to be had from a druggist for any such purpose. Professor Doyen, of Paris, has brought this potential remedy before the notice of his medical brethren in the Revue Critique de Medecine, et de Chirurgie. Fresh Beer Yeast is employed medicinally as an antiseptic stimulant in low fevers of a putrid type; it is of much service when, because of inflammatory risks, wine is not admissible.
Virgil, the familiar Latin poet, has related in Homeric fashion the toils and troubles encountered by AEneas and his followers when seeking a' friendly resting-place, where they might again establish themselves after their long wanderings since the fall of Troy. Oracular prophecy had foretold, through Ascanius, the son of AEneas, a happy termination to their laborious quest.
"Quum te, nate, fames ignota ad litora Tectum Accisis eoget dapibus consumere mensas; Turn sperare domos defessus, ibique memento Prima locare manu, molirique aggere tecta".
"My son, when famine on an unknown shore Shall make thee, failing food, the very plates devour, Then, worn and wearied, look to find home-ground, And build thy walls, and back them with a mound".
Accordingly, when the Trojan band, led by AEneas, entered Italy, and sailed up the Tiber, prior to laying the foundations of Rome, "being constrained by hunger," they proceeded:
"Violare manu, malisque audaoibus orbem Fatalis crusti patulis, nec parcere quadris".
"Their table cakes by tooth, and hand, with zest. Then to consume:
("Heus; etiam mensas consumimus?" inquit lulus.") ' What! eating plates as well? ' lulus called in jest" thereby fulfilling the prediction of a favourable haven from the Gods at last. Similarly, for ourselves, at the conclusion of our present lengthy task, we make bold to adopt the classic metaphor, and, lacking further foods to discuss, we thank the fates and devour our tables.
"Haec erat illa fames: haec nos suprema manebat Exitiis positura modum".
"This was that famine: this was found the last Of all our search: the tedious term, and bound".
Materially, of course, we cannot here eat the dishes whereof the contents are furnished, to be "read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested." Nevertheless, the ability is granted us to deduce a mental meal from the menace whereon our many topics have been served in the pages now ended; and to hail a happy final issue to our labours through the moral fodder of the homely.