Prohibition-era 'citrus and salad' cure for drunkeness

When researching my book Gut Instinct, I came across a citrus and salad diet the Australian-born, American-educated naturopath Dr Alice Caporn told a newspaper in 1937 was a sure-fire cure for “drink addicts”.

Dr Caporn arrived in Boston in 1919, the year Prohibition was declared. In America she studied for four degrees in naturopathy, osteopathy, health sciences and a PhD from Columbia University.

On her return to Australia in 1937, Dr Caporn told a newspaper of a citrus and salad Prohibition-era diet she said could cure “drink addicts”. She claimed this method was successful in curing “even the most confirmed inebriates”.

The diet consisted of lemon, orange and grapefruit juices drunk every half hour for three days, then three days of eating nothing else but salads. I imagine the diet would have been administered with 24-hour care and support, otherwise would a person have to continue the juice regime without sleeping for three days?

Anyway, it was with interest that I noted a recent study that concluded lime juice can be an effective smoking cessation aid.

In the study, published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand titled, "Efficacy of fresh lime for smoking cessation," researchers from the Department of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand tested the effectiveness of fresh lime as a smoking cessation aid compared with nicotine gum.

100 regular smokers aged 18 or older who were willing to quit were entered into a six-month long randomized, controlled trial, receiving either fresh lime (47) or nicotine gum (53) over the course of the study. Smoking reduction was confirmed through measuring exhaled carbon monoxide (CO), with measurements at weeks 9-12 being the primary outcome. Severity of craving was also measured using a visual analogue scale.

The results of the trial showed that there was no significant difference in abstinence rates between the groups during weeks 9-12, although they did observe that, "7-day point prevalence abstinence at week 4 of the fresh lime users was statistically significant lower than those using nicotine gum (38.3% vs. 58.5%; p = 0.04)." They also found fresh lime users tended to report more intense cravings than the nicotine gum group, but the number of cravings were found not to differ significantly between the groups. 

The report concluded: “Fresh lime can be used effectively as a smoking cessation aid, although not as good as nicotine gum in reducing cravings.
— via GreenMedInfo
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