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View Full Version : Is Tej an ancient medicine??



Boogaloo
01-06-2012, 02:52 PM
The other day I was watching the documentary 'How Beer Saved the World'. During the documentary an interesting segment came up about how the ancient Egyptians were found to be using modern day antibiotics. These antibiotics were discovered/formed in the 1940s. Modern day scientists knew it was their diet so they found and recreated some old beer recipes ,voila antibiotics!

This interested me so I went on a hunt for the paper and discovered it HERE. (http://www.anthropology.emory.edu/FACULTY/ANTGA/Web%20Site/PDFs/Tetracycline%20Consumption%20in%20Prehistory.pdf) 'Tetracycline consumption in prehistory.' After the malting process the recipe went like this, from page 224,

"The malted grain can be coarsely ground for brewing or finely ground for use as ordinary flour. Coarsely ground malted grain is used to produce beer by putting it in water for 4 days, creating a soft dough that is allowed to grow a green mold. The dough is then formed into a loaf, covered with a suet and placed on a baking sheet. The suet-covered dough is scorched and then put in old beer pots for an additional 30 hrs in order to allow more molds to form. After this extensive processing, it ready for brewing."

This sounded oddly familiar to me, then I recalled THIS RECIPE ON GOTMEAD. (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=319&Itemid=491) The recipe is an old recipe for Ethiopian Tej. Although the recipes do differ some, it's interesting how they both call for flour cakes and scorching.

Could Tej have been used as an ancient medicine? Has there been any other articles on Mead being medicine?

What CAN'T mead do?

Soyala_Amaya
01-06-2012, 03:58 PM
I watched that show, it was neat, but made too many jumps of logic for my taste. They completely ruled out any other factors, making it seem like beer, brewers, and other such things were the ONLY major contributing effort to many things. While I'm sure it helped (some of the information had to be true), the 'facts' were so twisted to fit the title of the show that it was almost falsehoods.

Boogaloo
01-06-2012, 04:09 PM
I watched that show, it was neat, but made too many jumps of logic for my taste. They completely ruled out any other factors, making it seem like beer, brewers, and other such things were the ONLY major contributing effort to many things. While I'm sure it helped (some of the information had to be true), the 'facts' were so twisted to fit the title of the show that it was almost falsehoods.

The show was definitely more 'fun' than anything else. And as Mazers we all know Mead was around long before beer. =)

The antibiotics claim seems valid after my internet scouring though.

(Just noticed you're located in Missouri. My family is from the Joplin area. My parents are still there.)

YogiBearMead726
01-06-2012, 07:35 PM
Many ancient alcohols were, and still are, vital parts of peoples diets around the world. The main reasons include these beverages being drunk while very young and still full of active yeast, medicinal properties and dietary supplements of things included (spices, fermentables, herbs, etc), low amounts of alcohol being a liver stimulant, and so much more I could never do it justice here.

If you're interested in this sort of thing, I'd highly recommend this book (http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0937381667). It is a wonderful read and has a plethora of ancient/indigenous/old recipes for most any fermented beverage man has made. Like anything else though, it's just one side of the story.

M63Ural
01-07-2012, 12:33 PM
Just watched the Discovery Channel "How Beer Saved the World" (sorry they didnt even mention mead) but the scientific studies did show that many of the mummys from Egypt had significant amounts of tetracycline in their bones. Not many mummies from Etheopia to study, but it would figure that similar brewing practices would lead to the same results. The molds that produce that antibiotic would not need such complex help to grow. They like our yeasty buddies would do their thing.

Jim