Dietary Recommendations in the Medieval Medical School of Salerno
By Maurizio Bifulco, Magda Marasco and Simona Pisanti
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol.35:6 (2008)
Introduction: In this commentary, we have evaluated the historical relevance of the dietary prescriptions of the medieval Medical School of Salerno, the most ancient institution in Europe for the medicine’s teaching and their correlation to the present Mediterranean dietary pattern. To this end we have analyzed two major treatises of the school: Regimen Sanitatis Salerni, which is one of the most ancient writs of the preventive medicine, and De flore dietarum.
“Si tibi deficiant medici, medici tibi fiant haec tria, mens laeta, requies, moderata diaeta” (if you lack physicians, let these three things be your medicine: good humor, quiet—avoiding or reducing stress—and mild diet). This precious aphorism is one of the most ancient writs of the preventive medicine. It preludes the Regimen Sanitatis Salerni, the main text of the Medical School of Salerno (around 900 AD), certainly the most ancient institution in Europe for medical knowledge, progenitor of the modern medical school.