If you live near the sea, make frequent trips to the beach, or are planning an island holiday this summer, chances are you’re getting more out of it than just enjoyment. It has long been thought sea frolicking has many health benefits.
Historically, doctors would recommend their patients go to the seaside to improve various ills. They would actually issue prescriptions detailing exactly how long, how often and under what conditions their patients were to be in the water.
Using seawater for medical purposes even has a name: thalassotherapy.
In 1769, a popular British doctor Richard Russell published a dissertation arguing for using seawater in “diseases of the glands”, in which he included scurvy, jaundice, leprosy and glandular consumption, which was the name for glandular fever at the time. He advocated drinking seawater as well as swimming in it.
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