Ancora medicinal para conservar a vida com saúde



Francisco da Fonseca Henriques

author biography Francisco da Fonseca Henriques, also known as Dr. Mirandela, was one of the most relevant doctors of his time. He was born in Mirandela (Portugal) in 1665, studied medicine in Coimbra and died in Lisbon in 1731. He was a doctor in his homeland and in Chaves, becoming very popular due to his talent and medical science. In 1698 he went to Lisbon, becoming a medicine teacher and the doctor of king João V. He also worked in the All Saints’ Hospital.

He excelled in the treatment of syphilis, medical hydrology and obstetrics. He also is remembered as hygienist and nutritionist. Among all his published books, we highlight the medical treat called "Medicina lusitana" (1710), the book "Aquilégio Medicinal" (1726), in which he describes all the thermal waters, springs, rivers, wells, ponds and cisterns existing in Portugal, and finally, the most important is "Anchora medicinal para conservar a vida com saúde", published in 1721, 1731, 1754 and 1769.

Editor: Lisboa, Officina Augustiniana
Year of edition: 1731

The book is structured according to the current diet of that time, where the author describes food characteristics, nutritional, hygienic and medicinal properties. In general, the book explains what the author meant by a healthy lifestyle and how to put it into practice.  Also was written a brief note of the scientific names of plants, animals and fish.

About the conservation of health, the doctor organized the book into five sessions. The following subjects are highlighted: The air we breathe, where he analyses the importance of breathing good air; The eating, with the description of each food such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and condiments, also including its basic qualities (hot or cold, dry or moist) and its medicinal virtues; The drinking, where water, wine and other food and medicine drinks such as brandy, chocolate, tea, coffee, beer, cider and mead are described; The sleep and the wake, reinforcing the need of good sleep; The movement and the rest, once physical exercise was already considered important; The excretory system, that needs to work well; The soul’s passions, that could modify physical harmony. For all this, it’s a fundamental book for any historical study about the food of the 18th century.


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