hist-brewing: poisonous brewing practices

Jerry Harder mastergoodwine at alltel.net
Mon Dec 13 17:54:28 PST 1999


To all who have been replying to Lady Aleksandra,  You have made some
good and
excellent points but I think you miss the point.  She has asked for help
in some
specific area of research.  As you have all so well pointed out the
poisonousness or toxicity of any substance is relative.  One dose may
kill
another be unnoticeable and yet another in the right circumstances
heal.  The
specifics on the other hand are what you all failed to mention.

To Lady Aleksandra:

There are several ways in which these types of things are "analyzed."

First there is a book out there somewhere which analyses toxic
substances by
giving a quantity in which it causes 50% of subjects to die.  I am sorry
I can't
tell you the name of that book off the top of my head and I'll do some
checking.  I should know that sort of thing anyway.

There are some osha standards which are exposure limits.  They work
something
"At such and such concentration you can be exposed so much time during
say an 8
hour day with supposedly no ill health effects.  There are multiple
organizations each with their own way of specifying those limits and
their own
limits.  These organizations and their limits unsurprisingly don't
always agree
with one another.

Now, as pointed out by our friends, some poisons or toxins are
cumulative.  For
instance, a fellow at work "retired" due to what they thought was Lou
Gehrig's
Disease but now they think it's lead poisoning.  Lead is one that is
cumulative
and there is so much of it in his system, that when they tried to
filter it out
of his blood levels, it returned back to it's original levels.  He is
not dead
but has gone from working to bedridden in about 6 months, the results of
some
unknown exposure at some unknown time during his life.  This shows the
real
value of your research idea.  Perhaps some of our friends will be dying
slow
deaths 10 years from now from poisons they ate a year ago even though
they feel
fine now??? I hope not. I already know what that feels like.

Other poisons are like alcohol.  A sufficient dose will kill relatively
instantly.  We read about teenagers and college kids experimenting with
everclear and dying of alcohol poisoning far too frequently.  Otherwise
at
lower
levels, our bodies will happily (or perhaps with a growing and
accompanying
headache)
dispel the "poison" alcohol to party again another day.

Others simply remind you of your mistake when you have children and your
bundle
of joy arrives deformed in some way.

While many sources warn against the dangers of of certain herbs (Just as
does A
Sip Through Time) Many may mention chemicals therein but few give any
idea of
concentration ranges.  Few give real numbers that give any idea what
safe levels
might be.  I would be interested in such research.  It would be
especially useful
to when a shot is ok a glass might be dangerous and a bottle deadly.

Also no one mentioned anything about synergistic effects.

Master Gerald Goodwine

Amy Tubbs wrote:

> I'm interested in doing some research on poisonous practices in cooking and
> brewing during the Medieval times and the Renaissance.  Some topics I want
> to follow are the boiling of wine in lead pots, cyanide from fruit pits, and
> the use of wormwood and other lethal herbs.
>
> Does anyone have some good sources they could suggest?  Or perhaps some
> other topics I could look into?
>
> --Lady Aleksandra
> Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
>


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