Every once in a while, we crow about how drinking coffee will protect us against skin cancer, will provide lots of antioxidants, and ward off evil robots. Of course, that last bit is still under review for the New England Journal of Medicine.
However, there was once a time when coffee was suspected to be capable of doing much more...like fighting The Black Death.
Specifically, a publication which came out during the plague of 1664-1665 entitled 'Advice Against the Plague' by Gideon Harvey recommended coffee against the contagion. Harvey was an eminent human physiologist... He was also a great lover of coffee and upon his deathbed in 1657, bequeathed to the Royal Society the greatest treasure in his lab-- 56 pounds of high-quality Venetian coffee.
Harvey was our kind of guy, it sounds like. A bit wrong, but wrong for all the right reasons. Read the whole article here.